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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2016 Sep;17(9):597-604. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2016.79. Epub 2016 Jul 6.

Applying CRISPR-Cas9 tools to identify and characterize transcriptional enhancers.

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Division of Biological Stress Response, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


The development of the CRISPR-Cas9 system triggered a revolution in the field of genome engineering. Initially, the use of this system was focused on the study of protein-coding genes but, recently, a number of CRISPR-Cas9-based tools have been developed to study non-coding transcriptional regulatory elements. These technological advances offer unprecedented opportunities for elucidating the functions of enhancers in their endogenous context. Here, we discuss the application, current limitations and future development of CRISPR-Cas9 systems to identify and characterize enhancer elements in a high-throughput manner.

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