Research Groups > Epigenetics Reprogramming and Chromatin

"Epigenetic reprogramming encompasses changes in nuclear architecture and epigenetic modifications that eventually lead to a shift in gene expression profile”

Dr Petra Hajkova has recently been awarded an EMBO Young Investigators award.

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At the molecular level reprogramming involves the erasure of epigenetic marks including DNA methylation and histone modifications. Our lab uses in vivo models to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying naturally occurring reprogramming events. The knowledge gained allows us to design in vitro experimental systems and to use biochemical approaches to investigate further molecular details.

We study reprogramming events both in the developing mouse germ line and in the mouse zygote. The former involves both genomewide DNA demethylation and chromatin remodelling, whereas reprogramming the zygote involves genome wide DNA demethylation affecting only the paternal genome a few hours after fertilisation.

As epigenetic reprogramming plays a pivotal role in the dedifferentiation and the reversal of cell fate decisions, investigation of molecular pathways underlying such processes provides direct mechanistic links to regeneration and cancer.

Overview of major epigenetic changes during mouse development
Overview of major epigenetic changes during mouse development. Click to enlarge.

Interplay between chromatin changes and hallmarks of DNA repair during germline epigenetic reprogramming
Interplay between chromatin changes and hallmarks of DNA repair during germline epigenetic reprogramming. Click to enlarge.

  Reprogramming and Chromatin
Group head

Petra Hajkova (Dr)

Telephone 38264
Group members

Rachel Amouroux (Dr)

Zelpha D'Souza (Miss)

Lab Manager
Telephone 38236

Peter Hill

Tien-Chi Huang

Sarah Linnett

Kirsten McEwen (Dr)

Buhe Nashun (Dr)

Admin contact

Lydia Lawson (Ms)

Telephone 38265
Contact details
Tel: +44 (0)20 838 38264

PhD and postdoc positions available
Selected publications
Leitch, H. G., McEwen, K. R., Turp, A., Encheva, V., Carroll, T., Grabole, N., Mansfield, W., Nashun, B., Knezovich, J. G., Smith, A., Surani, M. A., Hajkova, P., (2013). Naive pluripotency is associated with global DNA hypomethylation. Nature structural & molecular biology 20 (3), 311-316. Abstract

Hajkova, P. (2011). Epigenetic reprogramming in the germline: towards the ground state of the epigenome. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences 366, 2266–2273. Abstract

Surani, M. A., Hajkova, P. (2010). Epigenetic reprogramming of mouse germ cells toward totipotency. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 75: 211-218. Abstract

Hajkova, P., Jeffries, S. J., Lee, C., Miller, N., Jackson, S. P., Surani, M. A. (2010). Genome-wide reprogramming in the mouse germ line entails the base excision repair pathway. Science 329, 78–82. Abstract

Hajkova, P. (2010). Epigenetic reprogramming - taking a lesson from the embryo. Current Opinion in Cell Biology 22, 342–350. Abstract

Surani, M. A., Hayashi, K. and Hajkova, P. (2007). Genetic and epigenetic regulators of pluripotency. Cell 128 (4)  : 747–762. Abstract

Hajkova, P., Ancelin, K., Waldmann, T., Lacoste, N., Lange, U. C., Cesari, F., Lee, C., Almouzni, G., Schneider, R. and Surani, M. A. (2008). Chromatin dynamics in the process of epigenetic reprogramming in the mouse germ line. Nature 452, 877–881. Abstract

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