New publication in "Epigenetics & Chromatin"

April 23, 2015 /

Epigenetic marks are not stable after editing

DNA methylation and histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methylation are considered as epigenetic marks that can be inherited through cell divisions. To explore the functional consequences and stability of these modifications we employed targeted installment of DNA methylation and H3K9 methylation in the VEGF-A promoter using catalytic domains of DNA or H3K9 methyltransferases that are fused to a zinc finger protein which bind within this promoter. Expression of the targeted DNA and H3K9 methyltransferases caused dense deposition of DNA methylation or H3K9 di- and trimethylation and down-regulation of VEGF-A gene expression. However, changes were not stable and upon loss of the targeted methyltransferases from the cells, the epigenetic marks and gene expression levels returned to their original state. Therefore, epigenetic editing methods have to improve for stable reprogramming of gene expression.

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