Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HISTONEMEMORY (New and Old Histones in Epigenetic Cell Memory)
Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-04-30
Chromatin undergoes genome-wide disruption during DNA replication and histone marks are diluted 2-fold due to new histone deposition. Yet, how this impacts on establishment and maintenance of gene expression programs is not known. We hypothesize that chromatin replication represents a critical window for epigenetic cell memory and cell fate decisions, and predict that three histone-based processes play critical roles in guarding cell identity: 1) new histone deposition to regulate nucleosome occupancy and transcription factor (TF) binding, 2) accurate transmission of old modified histones by dedicated recycling machinery, and 3) recruitment of regulatory proteins to new and old histones to direct epigenome maintenance. To dissect these events mechanistically and test causal roles in cell fate decisions, we have set up a research program integrating explorative proteomics and histone chaperone structure-function analysis with stem cell biology and new cutting-edge genomic tools developed by my research group.