Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Biologie

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Biologie | Arbeitsgruppen | Quantitative Biologie der eukaryotischen Zelle

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Prof. Dr. Leonie Ringrose

How do different cell types remember their identities over many cell generations? Part of the answer lies in the Polycomb and Trithorax groups of proteins. The Polycomb (PcG) and Trithorax (TrxG) groups of proteins work antagonistically on the same target genes, to maintain repressed (PcG) or active (TrxG) transcription states. We use a combination of quantitative live imaging, mathematical modelling, computational approaches and molecular and developmental biology to understand the interaction of the Polycomb and Trithorax proteins with their chromatin targets.

We aim to unravel this fascinating epigenetic gene regulatory system in terms of the design, function and dynamic behaviour of its components. Our goal is to understand how a system whose components are in constant flux can ensure both stability and flexibility of gene expression states.

Current Research:
  • DNA sequence determinants of Polycomb Response Elements in flies and vertebrates
  • non-coding RNAs in Polycomb / Trithorax function
  • Mathematical modeling and quantitative in vivo analysis of Polycomb / Trithorax function during Drosophila development

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