Base editors are a new family of programmable genome editing tools that fuse ssDNA (single-stranded DNA) modifying enzymes to catalytically inactive CRISPR-associated (Cas) endonucleases to induce highly efficient single base changes. With dozens of base editors now reported, it is apparent that these tools are highly modular; many combinations of ssDNA modifying enzymes and Cas proteins have resulted in a variety of base editors, each with its own unique properties and potential uses. In this perspective, we describe currently available base editors, highlighting their modular nature and describing the various options available for each component. Furthermore, we briefly discuss applications in synthetic biology and genome engineering where base editors have presented unique advantages over alternative techniques.

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