Determining causal relationships between distinct chromatin features and gene expression, and ultimately cell behavior, remains a major challenge. Recent developments in targetable epigenome-editing tools enable us to assign direct transcriptional and functional consequences to locus-specific chromatin modifications. This Protocol Review discusses the unprecedented opportunity that CRISPR/Cas9 technology offers for investigating and manipulating the epigenome to facilitate further understanding of stem cell biology and engineering of stem cells for therapeutic applications. We also provide technical considerations for standardization and further improvement of the CRISPR/Cas9-based tools to engineer the epigenome.
Keywords: CRISPR-dCas9; DNA methylation; chromatin architecture; histone modifications; targeted epigenome engineering; targeted gene edition; transcriptional regulation.
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