Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Wolf Reik

Research Summary

Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone marks are often relatively stable in differentiated and in adult tissues in the body, where they help to confer a stable cell identity on tissues. The process of epigenetic reprogramming, by which many of these marks are removed from DNA, is important for the function of embryonic stem cells and in reprogramming stem cells from adult tissue cells. When this erasure goes wrong there may be adverse consequences for healthy development and ageing, which can potentially extend over more than one generation.

​Our insights into the mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming may help with developing better strategies for stem cell therapies and to combat age related decline. We have also recently initiated work on epigenetic regulation of social behaviours in insects, where we are interested in how patterning and regulation of DNA methylation in the brain is linked with the evolution of sociality.

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Latest Publications

A Hox-Embedded Long Noncoding RNA: Is It All Hot Air?

Selleri L, Bartolomei MS, Bickmore WA

PLoS genetics
12 1553-7404:e1006485 (2016)

PMID: 27977680

Efficient targeted DNA methylation with chimeric dCas9-Dnmt3a-Dnmt3L methyltransferase.

Stepper P, Kungulovski G, Jurkowska RZ

Nucleic acids research
1362-4962: (2016)

PMID: 27899645

The H3K9 dimethyltransferases EHMT1/2 protect against pathological cardiac hypertrophy.

Thienpont B, Aronsen JM, Robinson EL

The Journal of clinical investigation
1558-8238: (2016)

PMID: 27893464

Retinol and ascorbate drive erasure of epigenetic memory and enhance reprogramming to naïve pluripotency by complementary mechanisms.

Hore TA, von Meyenn F, Ravichandran M

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
1091-6490: (2016)

PMID: 27729528

Comparative Principles of DNA Methylation Reprogramming during Human and Mouse In Vitro Primordial Germ Cell Specification.

von Meyenn F, Berrens RV, Andrews S

Developmental cell
39 1878-1551:104-115 (2016)

PMID: 27728778

MERVL/Zscan4 Network Activation Results in Transient Genome-wide DNA Demethylation of mESCs.

Eckersley-Maslin MA, Svensson V, Krueger C

Cell reports
17 2211-1247:179-92 (2016)

PMID: 27681430

In vivo genome-wide profiling reveals a tissue-specific role for 5-formylcytosine.

Iurlaro M, McInroy GR, Burgess HE

Genome biology
17 1474-760X:141 (2016)

PMID: 27356509

Single-cell epigenomics: powerful new methods for understanding gene regulation and cell identity.

Clark SJ, Lee HJ, Smallwood SA

Genome biology
17 1474-760X:72 (2016)

PMID: 27091476

Naive Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived Directly from Isolated Cells of the Human Inner Cell Mass.

Guo G, von Meyenn F, Santos F

Stem cell reports
2213-6711: (2016)

PMID: 26947977

Maternal DNA Methylation Regulates Early Trophoblast Development.

Branco MR, King M, Perez-Garcia V

Developmental cell
36 1878-1551:152-63 (2016)

PMID: 26812015

Parallel single-cell sequencing links transcriptional and epigenetic heterogeneity.

Angermueller C, Clark SJ, Lee HJ

Nature methods
1548-7105: (2016)

PMID: 26752769