Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major global health problem
because current therapies rarely eliminate the replicative template of HBV,
which is the covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA). As an accurate and
efficient genome editing tool, clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeat
(CRISPR)-associated (Cas) 9 system represents a very promising potential
therapeutic tool for eradication of HBV, including cccDNA. In this issue, Cheng
Peng et al. reviewed recent advances in the application of CRISPR/Cas9
as an inhibitor of HBV, and discussed the obstacles and possibilities of the
CRISPR/Cas9 system as a curative therapy for chronic hepatitis B infection.
The cover image shows CRISPR/Cas9 based gene editing in the background
of HBV liver infection. See page 317–325 for details.