• adeno-associated virus (AAV) 9;
  • adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2);
  • AMPA receptor;
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS);
  • gene therapy

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease, and the lack of effective therapy results in inevitable death within a few years of onset. Failure of GluA2 RNA editing resulting from downregulation of the RNA-editing enzyme adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2) occurs in the majority of ALS cases and causes the death of motor neurons via a Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptor-mediated mechanism. Here, we explored the possibility of gene therapy for ALS by upregulating ADAR2 in mouse motor neurons using an adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) vector that provides gene delivery to a wide array of central neurons after peripheral administration. A single intravenous injection of AAV9-ADAR2 in conditional ADAR2 knockout mice (AR2), which comprise a mechanistic mouse model of sporadic ALS, caused expression of exogenous ADAR2 in the central neurons and effectively prevented progressive motor dysfunction. Notably, AAV9-ADAR2 rescued the motor neurons of AR2 mice from death by normalizing TDP-43 expression. This AAV9-mediated ADAR2 gene delivery may therefore enable the development of a gene therapy for ALS.