Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

CRISPR-Cas9 paired with adeno-associated virus serotype 6 (AAV6) is among the most efficient tools for producing targeted gene knockins. Here, we report that this system can lead to frequent concatemeric insertions of the viral vector genome at the target site that are difficult to detect. Such errors can cause adverse and unreliable phenotypes that are antithetical to the goal of precision genome engineering. The concatemeric knockins occurred regardless of locus, vector concentration, cell line or cell type, including human pluripotent and hematopoietic stem cells. Although these highly abundant errors were found in more than half of the edited cells, they could not be readily detected by common analytical methods. We describe strategies to detect and thoroughly characterize the concatemeric viral vector insertions, and we highlight analytical pitfalls that mask their prevalence. We then describe strategies to prevent the concatemeric inserts by cutting the vector genome after transduction. This approach is compatible with established gene editing pipelines, enabling robust genetic knockins that are safer, more reliable and more reproducible.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Biotechnol

Publication Date