The human genome is around four meters long, whereas the nucleus has a diameter of a few micrometers. Hence, DNA needs to be organized to fit into the nucleus, whereby a loosely packed open conformation (euchromatin) and a densely packed closed conformation (heterochromatin) exist. The organization of this densely packed heterochromatin forms the core of my research interest.
Many proteins associated with heterochromatin are known, whereby heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) is one of them. It binds to chromatin at the heterochromatin marker H3K9me3, can form dimers and interacts with other heterochromatin associated proteins like Suv39h. If HP1 has a structural role besides its functional roles is not known. Recent studies have shown that HP1a, one of HP1 isoforms, can undergo liquid-phase separation in vitro. In daily life this phenomena occurs when oil and water, two liquids, do not mix. Thus, the question rose if HP1a forms a nuclear compartment by liquid-phase separation in vivo. In contrast to a liquid phase, HP1a could also form a lose network together with chromatin without liquid-phase separation. To distinguish between these two models, I use in vitro and in vivo approaches involving fluorescence microscopy.
- since 10/2015: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg - Masters program in Biochemistry with following reasearch internships
- Analysis of H3 Tail Dynamics using Altering-Laser-Excitation (ALEX) FRET, Langowski group (DKFZ, Heidelberg)
- Using 18O-labelled Phosphate for Mass Spectrometry, Brügger group (BZH, Heidelberg)
- Hypoxic Conditions as a New Approach for STED Imaging, Hell group (DKFZ, Heidelberg)
- Pulling Simulations of a Single Collagen Molecule, Gräter group (HITS, Heidelberg)
- Monitoring the Downstream-Signaling of TAAR1 in Beta-Cells - Stimulation Experiments using the FRET-based cAMP Sensor Epac, Schultz group (EMBL, Heidelberg)
- 01/2015 – 05/2015: University of Helsinki (Finland) - European student exchange; ERASMUS
- 10/2011 – 09/2015: Georg-August-University Göttingen - Bachelor program in Biochemistry (Thesis: Crystallographic analysis of human orotidine-5'-monophosphate decarboxylase and varieties, Tittmann group (SSF, Göttingen))
DKFZ & BioQuant Center
Division of Chromatin Networks
Im Neuenheimer Feld 267-BQ24
BioQuant room 623
Fax: +49 6221 54 51487
e-mail: jana.tuennermann (at) bioquant.uni-heidelberg.de