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Palczewski, Krzysztof (Kris), PhD.

Home E Faculty E Palczewski, Krzysztof (Kris), PhD.

Gene augmentation therapy for correcting mutations in the RPE65 gene is the first FDA-approved gene therapy for any genetically inherited disease. There is no doubt that further genetic editing represents a new frontier that will permit the rescue of a specific function disabled by a genetic mutation. However, the clinical translation of CRISPR-Cas9 technology has been impeded by its low editing efficiency by homology-directed repair (HDR) and substantial indel formation caused by double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) breaks. Base editing is a new and innovative alternative for correcting gene mutations. Cytosine and adenine base editors (CBEs and ABEs), an advanced CRISPR-Cas9-associated genome editing tool, enable conversion of a point mutation independent of Cas9-induced dsDNA breaks and HDR, thereby addressing the drawbacks of conventional CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Base editing is especially attractive as a method to correct mutations in key genes associated with phototransduction, the visual (retinoid) cycle and other cellular processes essential for maintaining