Secondary follicles enable efficient germline mtDNA base editing at hard-to-edit site

Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2024 Mar 11;35(2):102170. doi: 10.1016/j.omtn.2024.102170. eCollection 2024 Jun 11.


Efficient germline mtDNA editing is required to construct disease-related animal models and future gene therapy. Recently, the DddA-derived cytosine base editors (DdCBEs) have made mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) precise editing possible. However, there still exist challenges for editing some mtDNA sites in germline via zygote injection, probably due to the suspended mtDNA replication during preimplantation development. Here, we introduce a germline mtDNA base editing strategy: injecting DdCBEs into oocytes of secondary follicles, at which stage mtDNA replicates actively. With this method, we successfully observed efficient G-to-A conversion at a hard-to-edit site and also obtained live animal models. In addition, for those editable sites, this strategy can greatly improve the base editing efficiency up to 3-fold, which is more than that in zygotes. More important, editing in secondary follicles did not increase more the risk of off-target effects than that in zygotes. This strategy provides an option to efficiently manipulate mtDNA sites in germline, especially for hard-to-edit sites.

PMID:38560422 | PMC:PMC10979202 | DOI:10.1016/j.omtn.2024.102170