University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI) Seminars in Cancer > Overcoming Chromatin Barriers to Elicit Cell Fate Changes

Overcoming Chromatin Barriers to Elicit Cell Fate Changes

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  • UserKen Zaret, Joseph Leidy Professor, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • ClockThursday 19 January 2017, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseCRUK CI Lecture Theatre.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Kate Davenport.

Cell fate changes involve dramatic and discrete switches in gene expression programs. Such changes are initiated by pioneer transcription factors, which can access nucleosomal DNA in silent chromatin that is unmarked for activation or repression. I will discuss how a segment of the FoxA1 pioneer factor helps open such chromatin. Yet there remain heterochromatic regions of the genome that are difficult for nearly all regulatory factors to access, and which harbor genes required for terminal differentiation. I will discuss our discovery of diverse proteins that are embedded in heterochromatin, to understand how heterochromatin barriers can be overcome in a specific fashion and promote high-fidelity cell fate changes. We find that marked dynamics in heterochromatin occur during organogenesis, which may focus regulatory factor access to the genome during the period of rapid differentiation and growth.

This talk is part of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI) Seminars in Cancer series.

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