Prediction of synonymous corrections by the BE-FF computational tool expands the targeting scope of base editing

Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jul 2;48(W1):W340-W347. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa215.


Base editing is a genome-editing approach that employs the CRISPR/Cas system to precisely install point mutations within the genome. A deaminase enzyme is fused to a deactivated Cas and enables transition conversions. The diversified repertoire of base editors provides a wide range of base editing possibilities. However, existing base editors cannot induce transversion substitutions and activate only within a specified region relative to the binding site, thus, they cannot precisely correct every point mutation. Here, we present BE-FF (Base Editors Functional Finder), a novel computational tool that identifies suitable base editors to correct the translated sequence erred by a point mutation. When a precise correction is impossible, BE-FF aims to mutate bystander nucleotides in order to induce synonymous corrections that will correct the coding sequence. To measure BE-FF practicality, we analysed a database of human pathogenic point mutations. Out of the transition mutations, 60.9% coding sequences could be corrected. Notably, 19.4% of the feasible corrections were not achieved by precise corrections but only by synonymous corrections. Moreover, 298 cases of transversion-derived pathogenic mutations were detected to be potentially repairable by base editing via synonymous corrections, although base editing is considered impractical for such mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Point Mutation*
  • Software*