An epigenetic phenomenon involves heritable changes in the structure and function of the genome over and above the DNA sequence. This layer of information is also referred to as Epigenome. Epigenetic information is encoded in the reversible chemical modifications of histone proteins and ,
DNA, in particular
. These epigenetic modifications act as the main drivers of the cellular differentiation and de-differentiation, establishing an “epigenetic memory” that robustly maintains cell identity and can represent a formidable barrier to cellular reprogramming. Similarly, losses Loss
of cell identity can result from aberrations in nature’s tightly engineered the epigenetic
circuits of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions that maintain the stable inheritance of the modified chromatin states. This epigenetic layer of genome regulation is increasingly linked to the human disease. A few recent reports have demonstrated the engineering of the transcriptional effectors that allow the targeted manipulation of the epigenetic landscape also known as epigenome engineering and/or epigenome editing. This innovative Epigenome engineering framework has opened a window of opportunity towards controlled switching of the epigenetic states as discovery and application tools (including therapeutics) within a wider synthetic biology framework.
Targeting epigenomic modifications