Epigenetic of aging | Intro PDF Print E-mail

Head: Dr. Holger Bierhoff

The group ‘Epigenetics of Aging’ is interested in how epigenetic (dys-)regulation is linked to aging and aging-associated diseases. We specially focus on epigenetic mechanisms mediated by non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in human and mouse cells. We would like to understand how ncRNAs are targeted to specific regions in the genome and which proteins they recruit to impact chromatin structure. At the moment, we are mainly focusing on triple-helices that are formed between ncRNAs and certain genomic sites (ncRNA:DNA triplexes). Triplex-formation facilitates a sequence-specific DNA recognition without unwinding of the DNA double helix, and is thus exquisitely suited for targeted interactions between ncRNAs and the genome. To date, ncRNA:DNA triplexes are poorly understood. Therefore, we have developed novel tools and techniques to detect ncRNA:DNA triplexes genome-wide in cells and to functionally characterize them. We are combining these studies with various molecular biology and high throughput methods.

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