Advancing Epigenetics Towards Systems Biology

Robin Allshire

Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, UK

Assembly of Heterochromatin and Kinetochore-associated Chromatin

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robin allshire


Each chromosome requires a single centromere and associated kinetochore to ensure its accurate segregation to daughter nuclei. We want to understand how the chromosomal location of centromeres is 'chosen' to direct kinetochore assembly. This requires a complete appreciation of how two distinct types of centromeric chromatin - heterochromatin and kinetochore-associated CENP-A chromatin – are assembled. Does centromeric DNA have intrinsic properties? Are transcription-coupled events and specific histone modifications involved? We aim to unravel how genetic and epigenetic information converge to define centromere location. We aspire to provide a detailed mechanistic understanding of the sequence of events that culminate in functional centromere-kinetochore formation.

We utilize fission yeast as a model organism. We are sequencing CENP-A nucleosomes in vivo, and assembled in vitro, and developing models to determine if CENP-A nucleosomes have intrinsic DNA sequence preferences relative to H3 nucleosomes. We are also implementing novel affinity selection procedures to understand how neighbouring methyl-H3K9 heterochromatin influences CENP-A chromatin and kinetochore assembly. Communities.

Lab Manager/Assistant: Georgina Hamilton UK

Post-Doctoral Researchers:  Graduate Students:
Tatsiana Auchynnikava
Alessia Buscaino
Erwan Lejeune
Alison Pidoux
Manu Shukla
Lakxmi Subramanian
Sharon White
  Pauline Audergon
Sandra Catania
Emile Castonguay
Matthew Miell
Nick Toda

Latest publications

Transposon-driven transcription is a conserved feature of vertebrate spermatogenesis and transcript evolution.

28500258 - 2017-05-14
EMBO Rep 2017 May 12;

Davis MP, Carrieri C, Saini HK, van Dongen S, Leonardi T, Bussotti G, Monahan JM, Auchynnikava T, Bitetti A, Rappsilber J, Allshire RC, Shkumatava A, O'Carroll D, Enright AJ

Transcription-coupled changes to chromatin underpin gene silencing by transcriptional interference.

27613421 - 2016-09-11
Nucleic Acids Res 2016 Sep 8;

Ard R, Allshire RC

Endogenous Mouse Dicer Is an Exclusively Cytoplasmic Protein.

27254021 - 2016-06-03
PLoS Genet 2016 Jun;12(6):e1006095

Much C, Auchynnikava T, Pavlinic D, Buness A, Rappsilber J, Benes V, Allshire R, O'Carroll D

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