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Dis Model Mech. 2018 Nov 20;11(11). pii: dmm035048. doi: 10.1242/dmm.035048.

Modeling epigenetic modifications in renal development and disease with organoids and genome editing.

Author information

1
Pluripotency for organ regeneration. Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the Barcelona Institute of Technology (BIST), 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
2
Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA belmonte@salk.edu nmontserrat@ibecbarcelona.eu.
3
Pluripotency for organ regeneration. Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the Barcelona Institute of Technology (BIST), 08028 Barcelona, Spain belmonte@salk.edu nmontserrat@ibecbarcelona.eu.

Abstract

Understanding epigenetic mechanisms is crucial to our comprehension of gene regulation in development and disease. In the past decades, different studies have shown the role of epigenetic modifications and modifiers in renal disease, especially during its progression towards chronic and end-stage renal disease. Thus, the identification of genetic variation associated with chronic kidney disease has resulted in better clinical management of patients. Despite the importance of these findings, the translation of genotype-phenotype data into gene-based medicine in chronic kidney disease populations still lacks faithful cellular or animal models that recapitulate the key aspects of the human kidney. The latest advances in the field of stem cells have shown that it is possible to emulate kidney development and function with organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells. These have successfully recapitulated not only kidney differentiation, but also the specific phenotypical traits related to kidney function. The combination of this methodology with CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing has already helped researchers to model different genetic kidney disorders. Nowadays, CRISPR/Cas9-based approaches also allow epigenetic modifications, and thus represent an unprecedented tool for the screening of genetic variants, epigenetic modifications or even changes in chromatin structure that are altered in renal disease. In this Review, we discuss these technical advances in kidney modeling, and offer an overview of the role of epigenetic regulation in kidney development and disease.

KEYWORDS:

CRISPR/Cas9; Epigenetics; Genome editing; Organoids

PMID:
30459215
PMCID:
PMC6262817
DOI:
10.1242/dmm.035048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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