Structure, expression, and disease

Structural and transcriptional reorganization which may regulate cell fate

Our lab’s field of research is genome organization, and how it may drive,  or be driven by changes in gene expression. Our overarching goal is to modulate gene expression by changing the DNA sequence,  so it affects the 3D structure of chromatin, which serves as a mechanism to regulate gene expression.

To that end we are using a variety of cutting-edge imaging technologies, molecular genetics, and computational approaches. With these single-cell technologies we are investigating how genome organization might be associated with transcriptional activity, and how together, they could influence cell fate.

Super-resolution imaging of 8 Mbp segment of human chromosome 19 in fibroblasts Adapted from [Nussinov, Jang, Nir, Tsai and Cheng, Signal Transduct. Target. Ther. (2021). A. Nanoscale Imaging of 9 chromosomal segments with sequential OligoSTORM. B. Transcriptionally active chromosomal segments are spatially segregated from inactive (blue – inactive, red – active). What structural changes occur at the boundaries across cell types, when transcriptional activity switches? Can structure predict which genes are more likely to switch?

*Disclaimer – This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author (Dr. Guy Nir), and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.

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