Chantal Wicky Collaud
The normal development of an organism relies on transcription factors and chromatin modifiers that instruct cells to develop into the various cell and tissue types forming the body. Indeed, complex regulation of cell differentiation does not only depend on transcription regulation, but also on chromatin structure. Chromatin is a very dynamic structure that can be altered by specialized enzymatic complexes, which in turn are modulating gene expression. Our lab chose to investigate the function of these chromatin remodelers during the development of an organism focusing on the following questions: how are chromatin modifyiers driving development? How are epigenetic changes involved in specification of germ and somatic cells? Can we change the fate of a cell by artificially modifying the epigenome?
To pursue this goal, we are using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This tiny little worm presents many advantages for these studies: chromatin factors very similar to human, well characterized development and many useful molecular tools.
Our recent studies identified a major transcriptional regulator of germline genes which antagonizes chromatin proteins to ensure production of functional gametes.
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David Rodriguez-Crespo, Magali Nanchen, Shweta Rajopadhye, Chantal Wicky
Genetics 221, 1 (2022). doi.org/10.1093/genetics/iyac039