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Title: The Wild‐Type tRNA Adenosine Deaminase Enzyme TadA Is Capable of Sequence‐Specific DNA Base Editing

Base editors are genome editing tools that enable site‐specific base conversions through the chemical modification of nucleobases in DNA. Adenine base editors (ABEs) convert A ⋅ T to G ⋅ C base pairs in DNA by using an adenosine deaminase enzyme to modify target adenosines to inosine intermediates. Due to the lack of a naturally occurring adenosine deaminase that can modify DNA, ABEs were evolved from a tRNA‐deaminating enzyme, TadA. Previous experiments with an ABE comprising a wild‐type (wt) TadA showed no detectable activity on DNA, and directed evolution was therefore required to enable this enzyme to accept DNA as a substrate. Here we show that wtTadA can perform base editing in DNA in both bacterial and mammalian cells, with a strict sequence motif requirement of TAC. We leveraged this discovery to optimize a reporter assay to detect base editing levels as low as 0.01 %. Finally, we used this assay along with molecular dynamics simulations of full ABE:DNA complexes to better understand how the sequence recognition of mutant TadA variants change as they accumulate mutations to better edit DNA substrates.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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