Live-Animal Epigenome Editing: Convergence of Novel Techniques

Trends Genet. 2019 Jul;35(7):527-541. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2019.04.007. Epub 2019 May 22.


Epigenome editing refers to the generation of precise chromatin alterations and their effects on gene expression and cell biology. Until recently, much of the efforts in epigenome editing were limited to tissue culture models of disease. However, the convergence of techniques from different fields including mammalian genetics, virology, and CRISPR engineering is advancing epigenome editing into a new era. Researchers are increasingly embracing the use of multicellular model organisms to test the role of specific chromatin alterations in development and disease. The challenge of successful live-animal epigenomic editing will depend on a well-informed foundation of the current methodologies for cell-specific delivery and editing accuracy. Here we review the opportunities for basic research and therapeutic applications.

Keywords: CRISPR; animal models; cancer; delivery; epigenomic editing; neurodevelopment.

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.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
  • Dependovirus / genetics
  • Epigenome*
  • Epigenomics / methods*
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics