Chromatin architecture and function

Research Focus

All the instructions required for a cell to be "alive" is coded in the DNA sequence. And this information needs to be processed and accessed for proper cellular function and development. Histones, their modifications, and their dynamics regulate the access to this information. Families of histone variants with similar properties evolved in Eukaryotes. We aim to understand the biological significance of the evolution of diverse histone variants and the mechanisms associated with their modifications and dynamics in the context of chromatin function. We are working with various model organisms, Arabidopsis, Marchantia, and fission yeast and apply a range of methods ranging from genomics to biochemistry. Currently our efforts are focused on the pathways that deliver specific histone variants to chromatin  and other pathways that deposit or read modifications specific to histone variants. We also study chromatin states and their remodeling in various developmental contexts and investigate evolution of histone variants in the context of the increased complexity of chromatin organisation and transposon silencing.

Selected Publications

Schmücker A, Lei B, Lorković ZJ, et al. (2021) Crosstalk between H2A variant-specific modifications impacts vital cell functions. PLoS Genet 17(6):e1009601 preprint bioRxiv:2021.01.14.426637v2.

Osakabe A, Jamge B, Axelsson E, et al. (2021) The chromatin remodeler DDM1 prevents transposon mobility through deposition of histone variant H2A.W. Nat Cell Biol 23(4):391-400.

Jiang D, Borg M, Lorković ZJ, et al. (2020) The evolution and functional divergence of the histone H2B family in plants. PLoS Genet 16(7):e1008964.

Borg M, Jacob Y, Susaki D, et al. (2020) Targeted reprogramming of H3K27me3 resets epigenetic memory in plant paternal chromatin. Nature Cell Biology 22(6):621-9.

Montgomery SA, Tanizawa Y, Galik B, et al. (2020) Chromatin organization in early land plants reveals an ancestral association between H3K27me3, transposons, and constitutive heterochromatin. Curr Biol 30(4):573-588.e7.