The Year in CRISPRs - 9

The Year in CRISPRs * CRISPR-Cas9 Edits the Epigenome

Dr. Gersbach and Dr. Reddy put their
artificial epigenetic agent to the test by
targeting a few well-studied gene promoters
and enhancers. While these histone modifications
have long been associated with gene activity, it
wasn't clear if they were enough to turn genes on.
And though Dr. Gersbach and Dr. Reddy had
previously used other technologies to activate
gene promoters, they had not successfully
activated enhancers.
To the duo's great surprise, not only did the
agent activate the gene promoters, it turned on
the adjacent genes better than their previous
methods. Equally surprising was that it worked
on enhancers as well: they could turn on a

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gene-or even families of genes-by targeting
enhancers at distant locations in the genome,
something that their previous gene activators
could not do.
But the real excitement from their results is
an emerging ability to probe millions of potential
enhancers in a way never before possible.

genetic component. Many different variations in
the genome sequence can affect your risk of
disease, and this genetic variation can occur in
these enhancers that Tim has identified, where
they can change the levels of gene expression.
With this technology, we can explore what
exactly it is that they're doing and how it relates
to disease or response to drug therapies."

"Some genetic diseases are straightforward-
if you have a mutation within a particular gene,
then you have the disease," said Isaac Hilton, Ph.D.,
a fellow in the Gersbach Lab and first author of
the study. "But many diseases, like cancer,
cardiovascular disease, or neurodegenerative
conditions, have a much more complex

Dr. Gersbach added, "Not only can you start
to answer those questions, but you might be able
to use this technique for gene therapy to activate
genes that have been abnormally silenced or to
control the paths that stem cells take toward
becoming different types of cells. These are all
directions we will be pursuing in the future." n


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The Year in CRISPRs

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Year in CRISPRs

Contents
The Year in CRISPRs - 1
The Year in CRISPRs - 2
The Year in CRISPRs - 3
The Year in CRISPRs - Contents
The Year in CRISPRs - 5
The Year in CRISPRs - 6
The Year in CRISPRs - 7
The Year in CRISPRs - 8
The Year in CRISPRs - 9
The Year in CRISPRs - 10
The Year in CRISPRs - 11
The Year in CRISPRs - 12
The Year in CRISPRs - 13
The Year in CRISPRs - 14
The Year in CRISPRs - 15
The Year in CRISPRs - 16
The Year in CRISPRs - 17
The Year in CRISPRs - 18
The Year in CRISPRs - 19
The Year in CRISPRs - 20
The Year in CRISPRs - 21
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