Template-jumping prime editing enables large insertion and exon rewriting in vivo

Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 8;14(1):3369. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39137-6.

Abstract

Targeted insertion of large DNA fragments holds promise for genome engineering and gene therapy. Prime editing (PE) effectively inserts short (<50 bp) sequences. Employing paired prime editing guide RNAs (pegRNAs) has enabled PE to better mediate relatively large insertions in vitro, but the efficiency of larger insertions (>400 bp) remains low and in vivo application has not been demonstrated. Inspired by the efficient genomic insertion mechanism of retrotransposons, we develop a template-jumping (TJ) PE approach for the insertion of large DNA fragments using a single pegRNA. TJ-pegRNA harbors the insertion sequence as well as two primer binding sites (PBSs), with one PBS matching a nicking sgRNA site. TJ-PE precisely inserts 200 bp and 500 bp fragments with up to 50.5 and 11.4% efficiency, respectively, and enables GFP (~800 bp) insertion and expression in cells. We transcribe split circular TJ-petRNA in vitro via a permuted group I catalytic intron for non-viral delivery in cells. Finally, we demonstrate that TJ-PE can rewrite an exon in the liver of tyrosinemia I mice to reverse the disease phenotype. TJ-PE has the potential to insert large DNA fragments without double-stranded DNA breaks and facilitate mutation hotspot exon rewriting in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • DNA* / metabolism
  • Exons / genetics
  • Gene Editing*
  • Genome
  • Mice

Substances

  • DNA