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CRISPR-Mediated Epigenome Editing

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Document pages: 16 pages

Abstract: Mounting evidence has called into question our understanding of the role that the central dogma of molecular biology plays in human pathology. The conventional view that elucidating the mechanisms for translating genes into proteins can account for a panoply of diseases has proven incomplete. Landmark studies point to epigenetics as a missing piece of the puzzle. However, technological limitations have hindered the study of specific roles for histone post-translational modifications, DNA modifications, and non-coding RNAs in regulation of the epigenome and chromatin structure. This feature highlights CRISPR systems, including CRISPR-Cas9, as novel tools for targeted epigenome editing. It summarizes recent developments in the field, including integration of optogenetic and functional genomic approaches to explore new therapeutic opportunities, and underscores the importance of mitigating current limitations in the field. This comprehensive, analytical assessment identifies current research gaps, forecasts future research opportunities, and argues that as epigenome editing technologies mature, overcoming critical challenges in delivery, specificity, and fidelity should clear the path to bring these technologies into the clinic.

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