Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Molekulare Zellbiologie/ Molecular Cell Biology


Epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation

Abb.: AEM
Abb.: AEM










The goal of our research is to obtain mechanistic insights into the regulation of chromatin function by epigenetic modifications on histones, histone variants and nucleic acids. The DNA in the eukaryotic nucleus is packaged in chromatin, and the position of nucleosomes on the DNA as well as modifications on the histones regulate the binding of other factors to chromatin and accessibility for RNA polymerase.

We study how histone modifications are deposited in the genome by chromatin modifying enzymes, and how they are inherited during DNA replication and chromatin assembly. Furthermore, we have identified several novel modifications on the centromeric histone variant CENP-A/ Cse4 and the H2A variant H2A.Z, and we are studying the molecular details of how each modification exerts its effect on chromatin function at the centromeres and in global gene expression. Also, we are studying how modifications influence the binding and function of the heterochromatic SIR complex.