Molecular mechanisms of chromosome dynamics
When a cell separates during cell division it needs to equally distribute its chromosomes, the molecular basis of genetic heredity, between its two daughter cells.
The centromere is a small region on each chromosome that serves as an anchor point for the attachment of the cell machinery that delivers one copy of each duplicated chromosome to each daughter cell. Defects in centromere formation and function lead to incorrect distribution of the number of chromosomes among the daughter cells and to structural defects with loss or gain of genetic material. Both kinds of alterations are typically observed in many human cancers and developmental disorders.
The Fachinetti lab is interested in understanding how chromosome inheritance is achieved with such high fidelity by identifying how centromeres are established, the mechanisms that drive centromere function, how their integrity is preserved across the cell cycle and the role that centromere failure plays in genome stability.
Our research will convey crucial insight in centromere biology that will be fundamental to understand the genesis of chromosome instability, which is the basis of diseases such as cancer.