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

Roy Rabinowitz*, Shiran Abadi, Shiri Almog, Daniel Offen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)W340-W347
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue numberW1
StatePublished - 2021


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