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Julie Ahringer

ahringerJulie Ahringer PhD FMedSci, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, Professor of Genetics and Genomics, Member of the Department of Genetics

Ahringer Group website | Europe PMC | Pubmed




The regulation of chromatin architecture and function

How is chromatin structure regulated to direct correct gene expression programmes?

The genome is regulated in the context of chromatin, the organisation of genomic DNA with histones and hundreds of associated proteins and RNAs. Chromatin structure controls gene expression and other nuclear processes, and its regulation is critical for the expression of cell identity, the maintenance of pluripotency, and the transformation to cancer. In addition, aberrations in chromatin architecture underlie developmental defects and disease, underscoring the importance of understanding how chromatin structure is regulated.

Controls occur at many levels, including local interactions between regulatory elements, modification of linear chromatin domains, and larger scale spatial folding and organisation within the nucleus.

We use C. elegans to study these processes, applying genetics, high-throughput genomics and computational approaches to understand the regulation of gene expression and genome organisation in development.


Selected publications:

• Latorre I et al. (2015) The DREAM complex promotes gene body H2A.Z for target repression. Genes Dev 29: 495–500.

• Ho JW, modENCODE consortium, et al. (2014) Comparative analysis of metazoan chromatin architecture. Nature 512: 449–452.

• Chen, A-J et al. (2014) Extreme HOT regions are CpG dense promoters in C. elegans and human. Genome Research 24: 1138–1146.

• Chen RA-J, Down TA, Stempor P, Chen QB, Egelhofer TA, Hillier LW, Jeffers TE and Ahringer J (2013) The landscape of RNA polymerase II transcription initiation in C. elegans reveals enhancer and promoter architectures, Genome Research 8, 1339-47

• Fievet BT*, Rodriguez J*, Naganathan S, Lee C, Zeiser E, Ishidate,T, Shirayama M, Grill S and Ahringer J (2012) Systematic genetic interaction screens uncover cell polarity regulators and functional redundancy. Nature Cell Biology 15 (1), 103-112

• Vielle A, Lang J, Dong Y, Ercan S, Kotwaliwale C, Rechtsteiner A, Appert A, Chen QB, Dose A, Egelhofer T, Stempor P, Dernburg A, Lieb J, Strome S and Ahringer J (2012) H4K20me1 contributes to downregulation of X-linked genes for C. elegans dosage compensation. PLoS Genetics (9): e1002933

• Gerstein MB, modENCODE Consortium, Ahringer J, Strome S, Gunsalus KC, Micklem G, Liu XS, Reinke V, Kim SK, Hillier LW, Henikoff S, Piano F, Snyder M, Stein L, Lieb JD, Waterston RH. (2010) Integrative Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome by the modENCODE Project. Science 330, 1775-87.

 Ahringer Group 2017

Video: Meet Julie Ahringer


Alex Appert • Francesco Carelli • Chiara Cerrato • Yan Dong • Jayne Fisher • Andrea Frapporti • Tessa Gaarenstroom • Csenge Gal • Yuanhang Jiang • Andrew Katznelson • Rhys McDonough • Karolina Oniszczuk • Wei Qiang Seow • Jacques Serizay • Garima Sharma • Przemyslaw Stempor • Isaac Walton