Epigenetic regulatory network of the brain during development, behaviour and diseases
Our complex behavioural traits are the end result of a very complex gene regulatory system streamlining developmental and behavioural events of our nervous system. Regulation of gene expression is at the heart of broad as well as fine tuning of development and function of a cell. Transcription factors and regulatory complexes are responsible for bringing about changes in transcription status of cells by responding to extracellular signals- which is fundamental to developmental decisions or behavioural changes upon environmental cues. In many cases these transcriptional changes need to be more stable, leading to long-term or even permanent change in gene expression for a given cell type. This is implemented by permanent modification of accessibility of regions of the genome- by change in chromatin architecture, or epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, post-translational modification of histone tails or remodelling of nucleosome positioning.
We use fruit fly (Drosophila) model system to study how change in chromatin architecture is mechanistically associated with developmental and behavioural principles and how their mis-regulations lead to disease pathogenesis. Combining the powerful genetics of Drosophila with recent advances of genomic techniques we will be address questions on how our environment exerts a lasting impact on our brain. Our current questions range from chromatin link of long term memory formation and neuronal activity related changes in genomic accessibility. We will also address how oxidative stress, ageing and memory related brain disorders are causally linked to transcriptional and epigenetic players.
Epigenetic modifications during learning and long term memory formation
Neuronal activity dependent changes in transcriptional and chromatin signatures
Brain response to oxidative stress
Brain injury and wound healing
Epigenetic changes in neurons during ageing
Trans-generational inheritance of acquired character
Nikita Veronica Saibo
Area of Research:
Area of Research: