Institute Affiliations

  • Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Technische Universitat Dresden (2010)
  • Master of Science, Technische Universitat Dresden (2013)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen (2018)

All Publications

  • Precise RNA editing by recruiting endogenous ADARs with antisense oligonucleotides. Nature biotechnology Merkle, T., Merz, S., Reautschnig, P., Blaha, A., Li, Q., Vogel, P., Wettengel, J., Li, J. B., Stafforst, T. 2019


    Site-directed RNA editing might provide a safer or more effective alternative to genome editing in certain clinical scenarios. Until now, RNA editing has relied on overexpression of exogenous RNA editing enzymes or of endogenous human ADAR (adenosine deaminase acting on RNA) enzymes. Here we describe the engineering of chemically optimized antisense oligonucleotides that recruit endogenous human ADARs to edit endogenous transcripts in a simple and programmable way, an approach we call RESTORE (recruiting endogenous ADAR to specific transcripts for oligonucleotide-mediated RNA editing). We observed almost no off-target editing, and natural editing homeostasis was not perturbed. We successfully applied RESTORE to a panel of standard human cell lines and human primary cells and demonstrated repair of the clinically relevant PiZZ mutation, which causes alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, and editing of phosphotyrosine 701 in STAT1, the activity switch of the signaling factor. RESTORE requires only the administration of an oligonucleotide, circumvents ectopic expression of proteins, and represents an attractive approach for drug development.

    View details for PubMedID 30692694

  • Efficient and precise editing of endogenous transcripts with SNAP-tagged ADARs NATURE METHODS Vogel, P., Moschref, M., Li, Q., Merkle, T., Selvasaravanan, K. D., Li, J., Stafforst, T. 2018; 15 (7): 535-+


    Molecular tools that target RNA at specific sites allow recoding of RNA information and processing. SNAP-tagged deaminases guided by a chemically stabilized guide RNA can edit targeted adenosine to inosine in several endogenous transcripts simultaneously, with high efficiency (up to 90%), high potency, sufficient editing duration, and high precision. We used adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs) fused to SNAP-tag for the efficient and concurrent editing of two disease-relevant signaling transcripts, KRAS and STAT1. We also demonstrate improved performance compared with that of the recently described Cas13b-ADAR.

    View details for PubMedID 29967493