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Physical Properties, Organization and Evolution of Eukaryotic Chromosomes

Periodic Report Summary - PPOEEC (Physical Properties, Organization and Evolution of Eukaryotic Chromosomes)

The present report covers the period from October 2010 until February 2011, because of the early termination of the IRG contract. Indeed, Dr. Koszul applied successfully to run an independent laboratory in the Institut Pasteur during the year 2010. He was also granted with an ERC starting grant. Given the negotiation procedure in the framework of an ERC Starting Grant, it appeared it was convenient to terminate the IRG funding, hence the short reporting period 2. During these few months, Dr. Romain Koszul kept on working on the projects detailed in the first period report. The projects aimed at a better understanding of the structure, dynamics and organisation of eukaryote chromosomes, and their influence on DNA-related metabolic processes (DNA repair, transcription, etc.) This proposal aimed at using interdisciplinary approaches to characterise some of the links that bound eukaryote chromosomes organisation with biological processes, with an emphasis on the maintenance of genome stability. We aimed at
1) developing a genomic chromosome conformation capture (3C) assay in order to decipher chromatin organisation of yeast chromosome during cell-cycle and
2) designing a microfluidic system that would help us to micromanipulate isolated cells and nuclei in order to determine the cellular response to a mechanical signal. During this reporting period, we pursued our effort to develop genomic 3C methods and analysis tools, one of the primary objectives from the proposal. In addition, thanks to the IRG funding Dr. Koszul attended and presented some of his results at a meeting organised by the Biophysical Society (USA) on the interplay between cytoskeleton, the nucleus and the chromatin, which is also directly connected to his research interest. He also worked on a historical perspective on an key study in the history of genetics, which is now published in the journal Genetics.