DNA's four letters, or bases, are the alphabet used by our cells: adenines (A) pairs with thymines (T), cytosines (C) with guanines (G), making a unique combination of 3.2 billion letters, that makes us who we are. Since some genetic diseases are caused by a mutation of just one letter, some of the applications of CRISPR -- a very successful and powerful gene engineering tool -- deal with the correction of this single-letter difference. Examples of proteins that can be added to the CRISPR system to promote letter conversions are: cytosine base editors (CBEs) for C-to-T conversions, and adenine base editors (ABEs) for A-to-G changes. The IBS team has been interested in studying ABEs' specificity, as it has not been known so far.
The team, led by Jin-Soo Kim, studied the error-rate of recently developed ABE proteins, ABE7.10, in human cells. They pinpointed the positions on the human genome affected by ABE7.10 and scanned for errors beyond the target. To do that, they used an adapted version of Digenome-seq, a sequencing technique developed by the same Research Center, that had already...
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