Temporal and Spatial Epigenome Editing Allows Precise Gene Regulation in Mammalian Cells

Cem Kuscu, Rashad Mammeadov, Agnes Czikora, Hayrunnisa Unlu, Turan Tufan, Natasha Lopes Fischer, Sevki Arslan, Stefan Bekiranov, Masato Kanemaki, Mazhar Adli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Cell-type specific gene expression programs are tightly linked to epigenetic modifications on DNA and histone proteins. Here, we used a novel CRISPR-based epigenome editing approach to control gene expression spatially and temporally. We show that targeting dCas9–p300 complex to distal non-regulatory genomic regions reprograms the chromatin state of these regions into enhancer-like elements. Notably, through controlling the spatial distance of these induced enhancers (i-Enhancer) to the promoter, the gene expression amplitude can be tightly regulated. To better control the temporal persistence of induced gene expression, we integrated the auxin-inducible degron technology with CRISPR tools. This approach allows rapid depletion of the dCas9-fused epigenome modifier complex from the target site and enables temporal control over gene expression regulation. Using this tool, we investigated the temporal persistence of a locally edited epigenetic mark and its functional consequences. The tools and approaches presented here will allow novel insights into the mechanism of epigenetic memory and gene regulation from distal regulatory sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2019


  • AID (auxin-inducible degron)
  • enhancer-like elements
  • non-regulatory regions
  • p300

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology


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