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CRISPR-Cas9 applications in T cells and adoptive T cell therapies.

T cell immunity is central to contemporary cancer and autoimmune therapies, encompassing immune checkpoint blockade and adoptive T cell therapies. Their diverse characteristics can be reprogrammed by different immune challenges dependent on antigen stimulation levels, metabolic conditions, and the degree of inflammation. T cell-based therapeutic strategies are gaining widespread adoption in oncology and treating inflammatory conditions. Emerging researches reveal that clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats-associated protein 9 (CRISPR-Cas9) genome editing has enabled T cells to be more adaptable to specific microenvironments, opening the door to advanced T cell therapies in preclinical and clinical trials. CRISPR-Cas9 can edit both primary T cells and engineered T cells, including CAR-T and TCR-T, in vivo and in vitro to regulate T cell differentiation and activation states. This review first provides a comprehensive summary of the role of CRISPR-Cas9 in T cells and its applications in preclinical and clinical studies for T cell-based therapies. We also explore the application of CRISPR screen high-throughput technology in editing T cells and anticipate the current limitations of CRISPR-Cas9, including off-target effects and delivery challenges, and envisioned improvements in related technologies for disease screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

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