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CHROMATIN-REPAIR-CODE: Hacking the chromatin code for DNA repair (CHROMATINREPAIRCODE)
Start date: Mar 1, 2014, End date: Feb 28, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Our cells receive tens of thousands of different DNA lesions per day. Failure to repair these lesions will lead to cell death, mutations and genome instability, which contribute to human diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Efficient recognition and repair of DNA damage, however, is complicated by the fact that genomic DNA is packaged, through histone and non-histone proteins, into a condensed structure called chromatin. The DNA repair machinery has to circumvent this barrier to gain access to the damaged DNA and repair the lesions. Our recent work suggests that chromatin-modifying enzymes (CME) help to overcome this barrier at sites of DNA damage. However, the identity of these CME, their mode of action and interconnections with DNA repair pathways remain largely enigmatic. The aim of this project is to systematically identify and characterize the CME that operate during DNA repair processes in both yeast and human cells. To reach this goal we will use a cross-disciplinary approach that combines novel and cutting-edge genomics approaches with bioinformatics, genetics, biochemistry and high-resolution microscopy. Epigenetics-IDentifier (Epi-ID) will be used as a tool to unveil novel CME, whereas RNAi-interference and genetic interaction mapping studies will pinpoint the CME that may potentially regulate repair of DNA damage. A series of functional assays will eventually characterize their role in distinct DNA repair pathways, focusing on those that counteract DNA strand breaks and replication stress. Together these studies will provide insight into how CME assist cells to repair DNA damage in chromatin and inform on the relevance of CME to maintain genome stability and counteract human diseases."
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