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Loci specific epigenetic drug sensitivity


Therapeutic targeting of epigenetic modulators offers a novel approach to the treatment of multiple diseases. The cellular consequences of chemical compounds that target epigenetic regulators (epi-drugs) are complex. Epi-drugs affect global cellular phenotypes and cause local changes to gene expression due to alteration of a gene chromatin environment. Despite increasing use in the clinic, the mechanisms responsible for cellular changes are unclear. Specifically, to what degree the effects are a result of cell-wide changes or disease related locus specific effects is unknown. Here we developed a platform to systematically and simultaneously investigate the sensitivity of epi-drugs at hundreds of genomic locations by combining DNA barcoding, unique split-pool encoding, and single cell expression measurements. Internal controls are used to isolate locus specific effects separately from any global consequences these drugs have. Using this platform we discovered wide-spread loci specific sensitivities to epi-drugs for three distinct epi-drugs that target histone deacetylase, DNA methylation and bromodomain proteins. By leveraging ENCODE data on chromatin modification, we identified features of chromatin environments that are most likely to be affected by epi-drugs. The measurements of loci specific epi-drugs sensitivities will pave the way to the development of targeted therapy for personalized medicine.

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