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Principles of Chromatin Organization

Final Report Summary - CHROMATINPRINCIPLES (Principles of Chromatin Organization)

Our genomic DNA is wrapped up and packaged by hundreds of different proteins. This packaged DNA is referred to as "chromatin". Whether or not a gene is used is largely determined by this chromatin packaging: some types of chromatin help to activate a gene, while others repress it. This project aimed to understand how this works. A major challenge lies in the enormous size of our genome and its many genes. For this purpose we developed new technologies that enabled us to monitor chromatin packaging with extreme sensitivity, and other technologies that allow us to systematically dissect how different chromatin types affect the activity of many genes. These new methods provide fundamental insights into the principles of gene regulation. For example, we unraveled which chromatin environments are most supportive to gene expression, and which are not. This will ultimately have applications in biotechnology, and help us to understand human disorders in which chromatin packaging is defective.