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Chromatin regulation involves the selective recruitment of chromatin factors to facilitate DNA repair, replication and transcription. Here we demonstrate the utility of coupling unbiased functional genomics with chromatin immunoprecipitation (CRISPR–ChIP) to identify the factors associated with active chromatin modifications in mammalian cells. Specifically, an integrated reporter containing a cis-regulatory element of interest and a single guide RNA provide a chromatinized template for a direct readout for regulators of histone modifications associated with actively transcribed genes such as H3K4me3 and H3K79me2. With CRISPR–ChIP, we identify all the nonredundant COMPASS complex members required for H3K4me3 and demonstrate that RNA polymerase II is dispensable for the maintenance of H3K4me3. As H3K79me2 has a putative oncogenic function in leukemia cells driven by MLL translocations, using CRISPR–ChIP we reveal a functional partitioning of H3K79 methylation into two distinct regulatory units: an oncogenic DOT1L complex directed by the MLL fusion protein in a Menin-dependent manner and a separate endogenous DOT1L complex, where catalytic activity is directed by MLLT10. Overall, CRISPR–ChIP provides a powerful tool for the unbiased interrogation of the mechanisms underpinning chromatin regulation.
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