Our research centers on the functional and dynamic architecture of chromatin in cell nuclei during differentiation processes.
Chromatin organisation and gene expression control are fundamental determinants of cellular life. Structural and functional constituents of nuclei determine chromatin organisation and are in turn influenced by the dynamic landscape of chromatin. The interplay of chromatin and the different constituents results in an important layer of epigenetic gene expression control, which is characteristic for specific cell types. The coordinated generation of different chromatin states within the three-dimensional nuclear space is a hallmark of cell differentiation processes.
Regular and aberrant differentiation processes as well as organ development reflect the particular importance of coordinated chromatin organisation.
We study chromatin composition of individual chromosomes during the cell cycle. In interphase cells, we wish to gain insight into the interdependence between chromatin arrangement and gene transcription, a pre-requisite of coordinated gene expression control. Correspondingly, we study the relation of chromatin and structural constituents like nucleoli or nuclear lamina and their influence on gene transcription and on the formation of functional chromatin domains.