APOBEC3 induces mutations during repair of CRISPR-Cas9-generated DNA breaks

Journal: Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Published: 2017-12-11

DOI: 10.1038/s41594-017-0004-6

Affiliations: 10

Authors: 19

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Research Highlight

Enzyme prevents CRISPR making a clean cut

©MOLEKUUL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

©MOLEKUUL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

An antiviral enzyme can cause accidental mutations during the repair of broken DNA strands. 

The gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 makes precise cuts in DNA strands. Repair of these breaks is required to complete the editing process, but can be scuppered by mutations, such as the unwanted insertion, deletion or replacement of base pairs – the building blocks of the DNA double helix. A team including researchers from ShanghaiTech University studied the role of APOBEC3, a family of antiviral enzymes produced in immune cells, in the repair of DNA breaks in E. coli samples. They find that APOBEC3 introduces mutations by turning a C-G base pair into a U-G base pair. In contrast, suppressing the activity of APOBEC3 reduced the number of mutations. 

Preventing unintended mutations during DNA repair could help make gene editing tools more effective. 

Supported content

  1. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 25, 45–52 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41594-017-0004-6
Institutions FC
School of Life Science and Technology (SLST), ShanghaiTech, China 0.23
CAS Key Laboratory of Computational Biology, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, China 0.16
State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine (SKLRM), NJMU, China 0.15
Department of Histology and Embryology, NJMU, China 0.15
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBCB), SIBS CAS, China 0.07
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), China 0.07
School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Science, WMU, China 0.07
Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS), ShanghaiTech, China 0.07
MOE Key Laboratory of Model Animal for Disease Study, NJU, China 0.02
National Resource Center for Mutant Mice, NJU, China 0.02

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