Editing the epigenome: technologies for programmable transcription and epigenetic modulation.
Gene regulation is a complex and tightly controlled process that defines cell identity, health and disease, and response to pharmacologic and environmental signals. Recently developed DNA-targeting platforms, including zinc finger proteins, transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) and the clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 system, have enabled the recruitment of transcriptional modulators and epigenome-modifying factors to any genomic site, leading to new insights into the function of epigenetic marks in gene expression. Additionally, custom transcriptional and epigenetic regulation is facilitating refined control over cell function and decision making. The unique properties of the CRISPR-Cas9 system have created new opportunities for high-throughput genetic screens and multiplexing targets to manipulate complex gene expression patterns. This Review summarizes recent technological developments in this area and their application to biomedical challenges. We also discuss remaining limitations and necessary future directions for this field.
Thakore, PI; Black, JB; Hilton, IB; Gersbach, CA
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