Department of Genome Dynamics at the INSTITUTE of HUMAN GENETICS, CNRS UPR 1142, Montpellier, France
In eukaryotes, chromatin is essential for heredity. Chromatin architectures can sometimes impart different heritable functions to the same DNA sequence or the same function to unrelated DNA sequences. In higher eukaryotes, memory of cell fates can be maintained by regulatory proteins classified in the Polycomb Group (PcG) and the trithorax Group (trxG). PcG proteins maintain silent states of gene expression, while trxG members maintain active chromatin states. Remarkably, these states can also be transmitted to a fraction of the progeny over multiple generations. In our lab, we aim at understanding the molecular mechanisms by which PcG and trxG proteins regulate their target genes, convey inheritance of chromatin states and orchestrate development. Moreover, we are trying to understand the global regulation of the three-dimensional organization of the genome in the cell nucleus and its functional consequence on cell fate programming. To reach these goals, we employ a variety of complementary approaches and techniques in the areas of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, genomics, computational biology and mathematical modelling.