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Epigenetics Chromatin. 2015 Sep 17;8:34. doi: 10.1186/s13072-015-0023-7. eCollection 2015.

Strategies for precision modulation of gene expression by epigenome editing: an overview.

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Molecular Genetics Unit, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON Canada.


Genome editing technology has evolved rather quickly and become accessible to most researchers. It has resulted in far reaching implications and a number of novel designer systems including epigenome editing. Epigenome editing utilizes a combination of nuclease-null genome editing systems and effector domains to modulate gene expression. In particular, Zinc Finger, Transcription-Activator-Like Effector, and CRISPR/Cas9 have emerged as modular systems that can be modified to allow for precision manipulation of epigenetic marks without altering underlying DNA sequence. This review contains a comprehensive catalog of effector domains that can be used with components of genome editing systems to achieve epigenome editing. Ultimately, the evidence-based design of epigenome editing offers a novel improvement to the limited attenuation strategies. There is much potential for editing and/or correcting gene expression in somatic cells toward a new era of functional genomics and personalized medicine.


CRISPR/Cas9; Functional genomics; Regulation of gene expression; Stem cells; Synthetic biology; Transcription-Activator-Like Effector (TALE); Zinc Finger; dCas9

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