Chromatin structure and transcription

Lead Research Organisation: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Abstract

The expression of genes in the nucleus of living cells is highly dependent on how the DNA of the genes is packaged and organised into three-dimensional intra-nuclear compartments. The aim of the research is to investigate the detailed mechanisms by which the regulation of this organisation affects the expression of particular genes.

Technical Summary

Both in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms the regulation of transcription is crucially dependent on the structural organisation and packaging of the DNA template into chromatin. We aim to study the factors that directly determine the accessibility of packaged DNA both by influencing the accessibility of DNA wrapped in a nucleosome and by altering the ability of a nucleosome array to fold into a higher-order structure. We have proposed a general solution to the chromatin folding/unfolding problem and will particularly focus on how the compaction of DNA into higher-order structures is regulated. This will complement our studies on how nucleosomes are positioned within the yeast genome. We will also continue a parallel study in the bacterium Escherichia coli in which we will study how nucleoid structure and function is related to changes in growth rate and phase. In particular we will study the topological changes in chromatin structure correlated with the expression of bacterial genes inducing a pathogenic response.

Publications

10 25 50
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Travers A (2006) DNA topology: dynamic DNA looping. in Current biology : CB

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Travers A (2010) The DNA sequence-dependence of nucleosome positioning in vivo and in vitro. in Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics

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Travers AA (2013) DNA thermodynamics shape chromosome organization and topology. in Biochemical Society transactions

 
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Start Year 2006