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Project TitleChemical- And Photo-Inducible CRISPR-Guided Epigenome Editing
Track Code2017-013
Short Description

A novel technology platform for epigenomic editing that integrates the CRISPR and Chemically Induced Proximity (CIP) technologies to modify histone PTMs at specific genome loci.

Abstract

This innovation is a robust and highly customizable method to target histone-modifying proteins to chosen genome loci for editing local epigenetic environments. The advantages of this method is to achieve the “localized” editing that re-writes histone PTMs only at chosen genome loci and allows direct observations of effects on gene activity due to local epigenetic changes. This technology can potentially be developed for therapeutic purposes, which allows the editing and correction of the erroneous epigenome associated with specific human diseases.

 
TagsCRISPR, genomics, gene editing, Epigenetics
 
Posted DateAug 23, 2017 3:32 PM

Researcher

Name
Fu-Sen Liang
Tingjun Chen
Dan Gao

Manager

Name
Jovan Heusser

Background

Epigenetics is a rapidly growing field that studies the heritable changes in gene activity that occur without genetic alterations, but mainly through modifications of DNA or of histone proteins. Epigenetic dysregulation has been linked to erroneous gene expression patterns that lead to the pathogenesis of various human diseases including cancers. Understanding the histone code is a major area of research today, given the importance that epigenetics plays in normal physiology and disease. However, it is difficult to establish whether the presence of certain histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs) at specific gene loci is merely the by-product of gene activity or indeed has causal effects on gene expression. Also, it is still challenging to investigate the interactions or crosstalk between histone PTMs. Current methods make it difficult to differentiate if the observed effects on gene activities are due to changes in local epigenetic environments or instead are secondary effects caused by remote changes in gene activities. To effectively address these issues, new methods are needed to dissect the functions and interplay of histone PTMs.

Technology Description

Researchers at the University of New Mexico developed a novel technology platform for epigenomic editing that integrates the CRISPR and Chemically Induced Proximity (CIP) technologies to modify histone PTMs at specific genome loci. This innovation is a robust and highly customizable method to target histone-modifying proteins to chosen genome loci for editing local epigenetic environments. The advantages of this method is to achieve the “localized” editing that re-writes histone PTMs only at chosen genome loci and allows direct observations of effects on gene activity due to local epigenetic changes. This technology can potentially be developed for therapeutic purposes, which allows the editing and correction of the erroneous epigenome associated with specific human diseases.

Advantages/Applications

  • A new technology to study epigenetics that addresses current limitations
  • May be applied to recruit any chosen chromatin-modifying protein to any chosen genome locus
  • Method will provide a powerful tool that enables the researchers to investigate epigenetic modifications in their native environment (i.e. in living cells) in a new and effective way
  • Significantly eliminates the complication and uncertainty in interpreting observed effects that can also be caused indirectly in overexpression/knock-down methods
  • Achieves the “localized” editing that re-writes histone PTMs only at chosen genome loci and allows direct observations of effects on gene activity due to local epigenetic changes
  • Is highly modular, enabling extraordinary customizability to design the most suitable platforms to answer specific questions
  • May potentially be developed for therapeutic purposes, which allows the editing and correction of the erroneous epigenome associated with specific human diseases
  • Uses CIP-based induction which is much faster and provides a higher degree temporal control to better dissect the dynamic roles of histone PTMs
  • Uses ‘off-the-shelf’ components (i.e., dead CRISPR/Cas9, the ABA system)

Publications

INQUIRES

STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Mirabal at amirabal@stc.unm.edu or 505-272-7886.