Skip to main content
Publications of the Week

dCas9 Fusion to Computer-Designed PRC2 Inhibitor Reveals Functional TATA Box in Distal Promoter Region

By March 30, 2022No Comments
Bifurcation of cellular fates, a critical process in development, requires histone 3 lysine 27 methylation (H3K27me3) marks propagated by the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). However, precise chromatin loci of functional H3K27me3 marks are not yet known. Here, we identify critical PRC2 functional sites at high resolution. We fused a computationally designed protein, EED binder (EB), which competes with EZH2 and thereby inhibits PRC2 function, to dCas9 (EBdCas9) to allow for PRC2 inhibition at a precise locus using gRNA. Targeting EBdCas9 to four different genes (TBX18p16CDX2, and GATA3) results in precise H3K27me3 and EZH2 reduction, gene activation, and functional outcomes in the cell cycle (p16) or trophoblast transdifferentiation (CDX2 and GATA3). In the case of TBX18, we identify a PRC2-controlled, functional TATA box >500 bp upstream of the TBX18 transcription start site (TSS) using EBdCas9. Deletion of this TATA box eliminates EBdCas9-dependent TATA binding protein (TBP) recruitment and transcriptional activation. EBdCas9 technology may provide a broadly applicable tool for epigenomic control of gene regulation.