ARTICLE | Preclinical News

Harvard researchers report new base editor tool

October 25, 2017 8:10 PM UTC

In a paper published in Nature, a team of Harvard University and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard researchers led by David Liu described its latest iteration of the base editor gene editing tool. The new base editor, dubbed Adenine Base Editor (ABE), is capable of correcting point mutations by converting A to G and T to C, and expands the number of genes that can be corrected by the gene editing technique.

Base editors are protein-RNA complexes based on the CRISPR-Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) system that convert single base pairs without cutting DNA. Instead, they rely on deaminase enzymes to make modifications to targeted nucleotides, causing them to convert from one base to another. The complexes include a deaminase fused to an inactive form of Cas9 and a Cas9 nickase. When the complex is guided to a target site by a separate CRISPR guide RNA, the deaminase converts the targeted base and the nickase marks the complementary non-targeted DNA strand for correction...