CTR studentship: Role of the base excision repair pathway in demethylation of DNA and trophoblast development

Lead Research Organisation: Babraham Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED


Genetic information is passed from generation to generation and is the material upon which natural selection acts. On top of this genetic information the genome also contains epigenetic information in the form of chemical and other modifications to DNA, which are associated with gene expression and genome function. Epigenetic information is acquired during development and perhaps also dependent on changing environmental conditions. During development of germ cells (egg and sperm) and gametes however there is a process of erasure of such epigenetic information. This may aid embryonic development afresh in the next generation, and eliminate acquired epigenetic information so that it cannot be passed down the generations. The mechanisms of erasure of epigenetic information may partly be based on repair of DNA. We are addressing the mechanisms of erasure in animal models, and how perturbations in this process might affect the development of early embryos.
Description This studentship research made further inroads into understanding how DNA modifications especially formylcytosine contribute to demethylation of DNA and to gene regulation.
Exploitation Route These findings are being taken up by others in the field as judged from publications
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description MRC EASIH 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution increased opportunities for deep sequencing using alternative platforms such as Roche 454 and ABI Solid
Collaborator Contribution MRC East Anglia Sequencing and Informatics Hub established in 2009
Impact see above
Start Year 2009