Chemical modifications of adenine base editor mRNA and guide RNA expand its application scope

Nat Commun. 2020 Apr 24;11(1):1979. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15892-8.


CRISPR-Cas9-associated base editing is a promising tool to correct pathogenic single nucleotide mutations in research or therapeutic settings. Efficient base editing requires cellular exposure to levels of base editors that can be difficult to attain in hard-to-transfect cells or in vivo. Here we engineer a chemically modified mRNA-encoded adenine base editor that mediates robust editing at various cellular genomic sites together with moderately modified guide RNA, and show its therapeutic potential in correcting pathogenic single nucleotide mutations in cell and animal models of diseases. The optimized chemical modifications of adenine base editor mRNA and guide RNA expand the applicability of CRISPR-associated gene editing tools in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / chemistry*
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Cell Line
  • Codon
  • Codon, Nonsense
  • Cystic Fibrosis / pathology
  • Gene Editing
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Nucleotides
  • Phenotype
  • Plasmids
  • RNA, Guide, Kinetoplastida / chemistry*
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry*
  • Transfection
  • Uridine / analogs & derivatives
  • Uridine / chemistry


  • Codon
  • Codon, Nonsense
  • Nucleotides
  • RNA, Guide
  • RNA, Messenger
  • 5-methoxyuridine
  • Adenine
  • Uridine