Crop Biotech Update

Gene Editing Tool Enables A to G Base Conversion in the Mitochondria

April 27, 2022

Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and Seoul National University researchers developed a gene editing tool than can precisely interchange adenine (A) with guanine (G) within the mitochondrial genome. This breakthrough, reported in the Cell journal, has the potential to expand the range of mitochondrial mutations that can help cure human genetic diseases.

“We were able to create a novel gene-editing platform called TALED that can achieve A-to-G conversion. Our new base editor dramatically expanded the scope of mitochondrial genome editing. This can make a big contribution not only to making a disease model but also to developing a treatment,” said first author Cho Sung-Ik. They developed TALED by fusing three different components. The first one is a transcription activator-like effector (TALE), which can target a DNA sequence. The second one is called TadA8e, an adenine deaminase that enables the A-to-G conversion. The third component, DddAtox, is a cytosine deaminase that makes the DNA more accessible to TadA8e.

The next step in the study is to enhance editing efficiency and specificity of TALED to enable correction of disease-causing mtDNA mutations in embryos, fetuses, newborns, or adult patients.

Get more information from IBS, Daily Beast, and Cell.

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