Chromatin-based epigenetic inheritance: Lessons from the centromere

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EU-LIFE is an alliance of European life science research centers that have joined forces to support, collaborate and strengthen scientific research in Europe, working together to achieve advancement and further understanding in Life Sciences.

The growing consortium currently consists of 13 partner Institutes and over 7,000 scientific staff with the Babraham Institute, currently the only UK representative, joining in 2013.

As part of the collaboration, the Babraham Institute are now proud to host a series of lectures to highlight and support the latest research from fellow members.

Introducing the next speaker -

Dr Lars Jansen
The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC)

Chromatin-based epigenetic inheritance: Lessons from the centromere

The centromere is a chromatin-based structure that is responsible for the formation of the kinetochore which drives chromosome segregation during mitosis. Centromere position is maintained in a strongly epigenetic manner through a unique self-propagating chromatin structure that is not directed by the underlying DNA sequences. The histone H3 variant, CENP-A marks the site of the centromere and is central to its epigenetic propagation.  We aim at understanding how CENP-A chromatin can itself be heritably maintained through successive cell division cycles. Using in vivo protein lifetime measurements we have shown that CENP-A nucleosomes are unusually stably and are quantitatively retained through multiple mitotic divisions. Replenishment of CENP-A chromatin is tightly cell cycle coupled and is restricted to mitotic exit via a cyclin-dependent kinase dependent inhibitory mechanism. We are uncovering how this inhibition of assembly is achieved and how correct CENP-A levels are ensured over time. I will discuss the emerging view that CENP-A chromatin constitutes an epigenetic self-templated feedback system that locally maintains a critical pool of centromeric chromatin, driving kinetochore formation as well as its own propagation.

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Event Time & Dates


Event Details

Dr Peter Rugg-Gunn
The Brian Heap Seminar Room