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University Medical Center Groningen

Epigenetic Editing

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It is becoming increasingly clear that many diseases are associated with aberrant gene expression profiles. In the group of Epigenetic Editing, agents are constructed to target functional domains to specific DNA sequences to address epigenetic mutations:


Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in the sequence of the DNA. DNA methylation and posttranslational modifications of the histones (DNA-packaging proteins), are well known for affecting gene expression levels. For an increasing list of diseases, abnormalities in gene expression have been linked to aberrant levels of DNA methylation and disturbed profiles of histone modifications (epimutations).

In contrast to genetic mutations, epimutations are reversible. Current drugs targeting epigenetic enzymes show re-expression of silenced genes, thereby revealing new therapeutic targets. However, epigenetic drugs act non-selectively and transiently. In our team, DNA sequence specific domains Zinc Finger Proteins and Triplex Forming Oligos are engineered to achieve gene-specific targeting in the human genome. These agents then target the fused epigenetic enzymes specifically to the gene of interest.

The Epigenetic Editing team aims to develop targeted rewriters of epigenetic marks as a novel approach towards permanent normalisation of specific aberrantly expressed genes.


Development of gene-specific tools to permanently modulate gene expression levels or to correct genetic mutations.

Outreach includes:

Contact information:

Prof.dr. Marianne G. Rots

Department of Pathology and Medical Biology

University Medical Center Groningen

Hanzeplein 1

9713 GZ Groningen

tel: +31 50 361 0153 (+31 50 361 8043, secr.)

Email: Marianne Rots  

Paradisolezingen 2015
Paradisolezingen 2015
Last modified:06 March 2019 2.48 p.m.