CRISPR-Mediated Reorganization of Chromatin Loop Structure

J Vis Exp. 2018 Sep 14:(139):57457. doi: 10.3791/57457.


Recent studies have clearly shown that long-range, three-dimensional chromatin looping interactions play a significant role in the regulation of gene expression, but whether looping is responsible for or a result of alterations in gene expression is still unknown. Until recently, how chromatin looping affects the regulation of gene activity and cellular function has been relatively ambiguous, and limitations in existing methods to manipulate these structures prevented in-depth exploration of these interactions. To resolve this uncertainty, we engineered a method for selective and reversible chromatin loop re-organization using CRISPR-dCas9 (CLOuD9). The dynamism of the CLOuD9 system has been demonstrated by successful localization of CLOuD9 constructs to target genomic loci to modulate local chromatin conformation. Importantly, the ability to reverse the induced contact and restore the endogenous chromatin conformation has also been confirmed. Modulation of gene expression with this method establishes the capacity to regulate cellular gene expression and underscores the great potential for applications of this technology in creating stable de novo chromatin loops that markedly affect gene expression in the contexts of cancer and development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Conformation


  • Chromatin