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      Functional genetic variants can mediate their regulatory effects through alteration of transcription factor binding

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          Abstract

          Functional variants in the genome are usually identified by their association with local gene expression, DNA methylation or chromatin states. DNA sequence motif analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation studies have provided indirect support for the hypothesis that functional variants alter transcription factor binding to exert their effects. In this study, we provide direct evidence that functional variants can alter transcription factor binding. We identify a multifunctional variant within the TBC1D4 gene encoding a canonical NFκB binding site, and edited it using CRISPR-Cas9 to remove this site. We show that this editing reduces TBC1D4 expression, local chromatin accessibility and binding of the p65 component of NFκB. We then used CRISPR without genomic editing to guide p65 back to the edited locus, demonstrating that this re-targeting, occurring ~182 kb from the gene promoter, is enough to restore the function of the locus, supporting the central role of transcription factors mediating the effects of functional variants.

          Abstract

          Functional variants have been proposed to alter transcription factor binding. Here, the authors provide direct evidence that functional variants within the TBC1D4 gene, encoding an NFκB binding site, can alter transcription factor binding, and use CRISPR-Cas9 to reveal localization of the transcription factor to be the regulator of chromatin accessibility and p65 binding and ultimately TBC1D4 expression.

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          Most cited references53

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          Repair of double-strand breaks induced by CRISPR–Cas9 leads to large deletions and complex rearrangements

          CRISPR-Cas9 is poised to become the gene editing tool of choice in clinical contexts. Thus far, exploration of Cas9-induced genetic alterations has been limited to the immediate vicinity of the target site and distal off-target sequences, leading to the conclusion that CRISPR-Cas9 was reasonably specific. Here we report significant on-target mutagenesis, such as large deletions and more complex genomic rearrangements at the targeted sites in mouse embryonic stem cells, mouse hematopoietic progenitors and a human differentiated cell line. Using long-read sequencing and long-range PCR genotyping, we show that DNA breaks introduced by single-guide RNA/Cas9 frequently resolved into deletions extending over many kilobases. Furthermore, lesions distal to the cut site and crossover events were identified. The observed genomic damage in mitotically active cells caused by CRISPR-Cas9 editing may have pathogenic consequences.
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            Epigenome editing by a CRISPR/Cas9-based acetyltransferase activates genes from promoters and enhancers

            Technologies that facilitate the targeted manipulation of epigenetic marks could be used to precisely control cell phenotype or interrogate the relationship between the epigenome and transcriptional control. Here we have generated a programmable acetyltransferase based on the CRISPR/Cas9 gene regulation system, consisting of the nuclease-null dCas9 protein fused to the catalytic core of the human acetyltransferase p300. This fusion protein catalyzes acetylation of histone H3 lysine 27 at its target sites, corresponding with robust transcriptional activation of target genes from promoters, proximal enhancers, and distal enhancers. Gene activation by the targeted acetyltransferase is highly specific across the genome. In contrast to conventional dCas9-based activators, the acetyltransferase effectively activates genes from enhancer regions and with individual guide RNAs. The core p300 domain is also portable to other programmable DNA-binding proteins. These results support targeted acetylation as a causal mechanism of transactivation and provide a new robust tool for manipulating gene regulation.
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              Editing DNA Methylation in the Mammalian Genome.

              Mammalian DNA methylation is a critical epigenetic mechanism orchestrating gene expression networks in many biological processes. However, investigation of the functions of specific methylation events remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate that fusion of Tet1 or Dnmt3a with a catalytically inactive Cas9 (dCas9) enables targeted DNA methylation editing. Targeting of the dCas9-Tet1 or -Dnmt3a fusion protein to methylated or unmethylated promoter sequences caused activation or silencing, respectively, of an endogenous reporter. Targeted demethylation of the BDNF promoter IV or the MyoD distal enhancer by dCas9-Tet1 induced BDNF expression in post-mitotic neurons or activated MyoD facilitating reprogramming of fibroblasts into myoblasts, respectively. Targeted de novo methylation of a CTCF loop anchor site by dCas9-Dnmt3a blocked CTCF binding and interfered with DNA looping, causing altered gene expression in the neighboring loop. Finally, we show that these tools can edit DNA methylation in mice, demonstrating their wide utility for functional studies of epigenetic regulation.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                john.greally@einstein.yu.edu
                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2041-1723
                2 August 2019
                2 August 2019
                2019
                : 10
                : 3472
                Affiliations
                ISNI 0000000121791997, GRID grid.251993.5, Center for Epigenomics and Department of Genetics (Division of Genomics), , Albert Einstein College of Medicine, ; 1301 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461 USA
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5769-3106
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9070-9536
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0378-0052
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0605-9225
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6069-7960
                Article
                11412
                10.1038/s41467-019-11412-5
                6677801
                31375681
                1a6d1492-7f40-4c56-85fb-906d5c0ddaf0
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 29 July 2018
                : 10 July 2019
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef https://doi.org/10.13039/100000057, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services | NIH | National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS);
                Award ID: GM007288
                Award ID: GM007288
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Uncategorized
                crispr-cas9 genome editing,epigenetics,mutagenesis,transcriptional regulatory elements,quantitative trait loci

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