Application of CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing for HIV Host Factor Discovery and Validation

William J. Cisneros, Daphne Cornish, Judd F. Hultquist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) interacts with a wide array of host factors at each stage of its lifecycle to facilitate replication and circumvent the immune response. Identification and characterization of these host factors is critical for elucidating the mechanism of viral replication and for developing next-generation HIV-1 therapeutic and curative strategies. Recent advances in CRISPR-Cas9-based genome engineering approaches have provided researchers with an assortment of new, valuable tools for host factor discovery and interrogation. Genome-wide screening in a variety of in vitro cell models has helped define the critical host factors that play a role in various cellular and biological contexts. Targeted manipulation of specific host factors by CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene knock-out, overexpression, and/or directed repair have furthermore allowed for target validation in primary cell models and mechanistic inquiry through hypothesis-based testing. In this review, we summarize several CRISPR-based screening strategies for the identification of HIV-1 host factors and highlight how CRISPR-Cas9 approaches have been used to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of viral replication and host response. Finally, we examine promising new technologies in the CRISPR field and how these may be applied to address critical questions in HIV-1 biology going forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number891
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • CRISPR-Cas9
  • HIV
  • gene editing
  • host factors
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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