Several biological processes, such as gene regulation, DNA repair and apoptosis are regulated by alterations of chromatin structure. Linker histone H1 is a major determinant of chromatin fibre folding and variation of H1 stoichiometry indicate distinct higher order structures and functional states. Key players in the organisation of chromatin domains are histone chaperones which tune the binding affinity of histones for DNA. Recent advances have revealed additional functions of these proteins in transcription, histone shuttling, apoptosis and cell cycle regulation.
We are studying the molecular interactions and structural characteristics of linker histone chaperones and chromatin remodelling factors. Our long-term goal research is to understand their interplay with chromatin components and their roles in chromatin dynamics, using multidisciplinary approaches, including biochemical, cell biological and biophysical techniques. The recent research direction of the lab is the development of the zebrafish model-organism as an experimental system to study the roles of chromatin remodelers in embryonic development.