Our current laboratory research
Linker histone role in gene regulation
All the lab research interests is in the field of epigenetics that is to further the understanding of how core histones and their variant and modified forms control gene regulation.
We have purified and utilised antibodies to each of the chicken H1 variants and used them in xChIP assays to map their different distributions across two loci in differentiating cell lines.
Variant histone role in xenopus development
More recently in collaboration with Professor Guille’s lab the research has moved to the Xenopus model system in order to continue studying variant histones in an in vivo environment.
This has mainly focused on the functional & developmentally differential control of specific histone variants H2AZ1,H2AZ 2, H1X & macroH2A.
Role of H2A.Z in the first stages of re-programming fibroblasts into pluripotent stem cells
Changing cell fate holds the potential for therapy in regenerative medicine. If a patient’s cells, e.g. skin fibroblasts, could be turned into the cell type in need of regeneration all problems associated with tissue rejection would be eliminated. For this to develop we require a full understanding of how the gene expression profile of the initiator cell is altered to determine cell fate. This project in collaboration with Prof Colyn Crane-Robinson will investigate the role of the variant replacement histone H2A.Z in the earliest stages of re-programming fibroblasts into pluripotential stem cells.