Lectures and seminars SciLifeLab Svedberg Seminar: Ana Pombo
Welcome to the Science for Life seminar series with Prof. Ana Pombo, from the MDC Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB), Humboldt University in Germany
Title: Functional specialization of 3D genome structures in brain cell types
Functional specialization of 3D genome structures in brain cell types
During lineage commitment, cells sustain cascades of gene activation and repression to generate specific cell types that execute specialized functions. To investigate the variability of the 3D conformation of the genome in different cell types and their relation with cell-type specific patterns of gene expression, we applied Genome Architecture Mapping is specific brain cell types from the adult murine brain, without disturbing their native tissue environment: dopaminergic neurons (DNs) from the midbrain, pyramidal glutamatergic neurons (PGNs) from the hippocampus, and oligodendrocyte lineage cells (OLGs) from the cortex. We find extensive reorganization of genome topology, which the reorganization of topological domains, chromatin compartments and specific long-range hubs of contacts between neuron-specific genes. We also discover events of extensive chromatin decondensation, or ‘melting’, at long neuronal genes when they are highly transcribed, many of them associated with neurodevelopmental disorders or neurodegeneration. Our work shows that the 3D organization of the genome is highly specific of cell type and strongly related with gene expression programs.
About the speaker
Ana Pombo investigates mechanisms that regulate 3D genome folding and gene expression during mammalian development and in disease. After her doctorate work at the University of Oxford (UK), Ana was a recipient of a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship. She started her independent group in 2000, at the MRC London Institute for Medical Sciences, Imperial College London, before moving to the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, in Germany. Ana received the Robert Feulgen Prize in 2007, and was elected EMBO member in 2018. She is a Professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Deputy Scientific Directed of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology at MDC.