Chromosome stability and dynamics in the Lukas Group
The Lukas group explores how proteins that guard the integrity of the human genome assemble into functional pathways, how they organize themselves in the 3D nuclear space, and how they communicate with cellular metabolism and external environment to shield DNA against disease-predisposing mutations.
The group aims at obtaining a holistic picture of genome maintenance by asking not only ‘how DNA repair works’ but also ‘what prevents DNA damage to happen in the first place’ and ‘what are the physiological limits of the mechanism required for propagating intact genomes across cell generations’.
“Our approach is to combine advanced light microscopy with genetic screens and biochemical analysis of PTMs to identify proteins that guard the integrity of the human genome and to visualize the dynamics of these reactions in their physiological environment,” says Professor and Group Leader Jiri Lukas.
Indeed, the focus on quantitative imaging of genome caretakers, including tracking of their dynamic behaviour across several consecutive cell cycles have been a major source of discoveries and technological innovations in the Lukas group. These findings generated influential insights into how malfunctions of spatio-temporal regulation of genome integrity maintenance triggers and fuels cancer evolution.
“Through our focus on physiological end-points of genome maintenance and the role of protein dynamics in this regulation, we hope to provide a conceptual ‘melting pot’ of multiple activities across CPR and spearhead collaborations among research programs” continues Jiri Lukas.
Discovery that chromatin architecture around DNA breaks is not a passive bystander of repair events but an and active regulator, which through stabilizing topological integrity of chromatin near the DNA lesions lays down a physical foundation for repair fidelity. Read about the finding .
|Justine Jeromine Sitz
|Maj-Britt Druedahl Rask
|Natalia Olivia Frese