Chromatin dynamics & genome stability

Chromatin domain-specific break systems to study DNA damage repair

Double strand break (green) in heterochromatin (magenta) in nucleus of 3rd instar wing disc

Targeted systems that induce locus-specific DNA damage are an extremely useful tool for performing in depth analyses of the DNA damage response in various (hetero) chromatin regions. We employ and develop new locus-specific DNA damage systems in both Drosophila animals and mammalian cells. We use these systems in combination with high-resolution live tissue imaging, in depth sequencing as well as genetics. Our goal is to understand how different chromatin regions influence repair pathway usage, repair kinetics and movement of damaged sites in the 3D nuclear space.

The role of chromatin modifiers in DNA damage repair

Different chromatin domains in cell nucleus

Different chromatin regions display major differences in DNA compaction, histone modifications and biophysical properties. This indicates that different chromatin domains require different local chromatin changes at the damaged site to promote proper DNA damage repair. We aim to use high-resolution live imaging, chromatin assays, as well as mass-spectrometry based approaches to understand the role of damage-associated chromatin modifiers and histone modifications in repair.