"CRISPR-Cas9 Editing of the Genome" by National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) / by CC BY 2.0

Super-precise CRISPR tool enhanced by enzyme engineering

Feb 11, 2020

By Heidi Ledford

A super-precise version of the CRISPR genome-editing tool just got even better. Researchers have boosted the accuracy of a technique based on the popular but error-prone CRISPR–Cas9 system by engineering enzymes that can precisely target DNA without introducing as many unwanted mutations.

The enzymes, reported on 10 February in Nature Biotechnology1, could make a method called base editing, which allows researchers to convert one DNA letter into another, more feasible as a tool to treat genetic diseases.

Base editing, first described in 20162, offers greater control than does conventional CRISPR–Cas9 editing, but can also introduce random, ‘off-target’ changes to the genome. The new enzymes are less likely to make these errors, so could allow researchers to develop safer gene therapies.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.