Our lab is interested in the role of epigenetic effector proteins in the regulation of chromatin structure during embryonic stem cell differentiation. Chromatin dynamics are essential for cell lineage specification and studies in recent years have just begun to unfold the chromatin changes that occur from the undifferentiated state to fully differentiated stem cells. We are particularly focused on the the role of the five mammalian Polycomb (Pc) proteins, which 'read' the histone code of H3 methylation. In addition, our lab is interested in other chromatin regulatory mechanisms mediated by histone variants and non-coding RNAs.
Whitcomb SJ, Basu A, Allis CD, Bernstein E. Polycomb Group proteins: an evolutionary perspective. Trends Genet. 2007 Oct;23(10):494-502.
Ooi SK, Qiu C, Bernstein E, Li K, Jia D, Yang Z, Erdjument-Bromage H, Tempst P, Lin SP, Allis CD, Cheng X, Bestor TH. DNMT3L connects unmethylated lysine 4 of histone H3 to de novo methylation of DNA. Nature. 2007 Aug 9;448(7154):714-7.
Bernstein E, Duncan EM, Masui O, Gil J, Heard E, Allis CD. Mouse polycomb proteins bind differentially to methylated histone H3 and RNA and are enriched in facultative heterochromatin. Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Apr;26(7):2560-9.