The DNA in our cells is packaged by association with proteins, including histones, to form chromatin. The structure of chromatin is regulated by modifications and remodelling enzymes to dynamically allow access to the DNA during cellular activities such as replication, transcription, and repair. Alterations in chromatin structure and composition can have profound and heritable, or epigenetic, effects.
We are investigating how chromatin, or epigenetic regulation, impacts on genome stability. Areas that we have focused on include understanding how chromatin structure and its regulation directly influences DNA repair, chromosome segregation, and DNA replication.
By understanding more about these pathways, we can not only generate mechanistic insights into cellular functions, but also identify novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers for the treatment of cancer.
For more information, please visit our external lab website: thedownslab.org