Dr Richard Jenner


Personal Profile

Name: Richard Jenner Email: r.jenner@ucl.ac.uk
Title: Dr Tel: 020 7679 6815
Department: Research Department of Cancer Bio Fax: 020 7209 0470
Position: Reader in Molecular Biology Address: UCL Cancer Institute, Paul O'Gorman Building, 72 Huntley Street, London, WC1E 6BT
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences, Cancer, Infection, Immunology & Inflammation, Personalised Medicine, Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine (Frontier Disciplines) Web Page:  


Research Description

Each of our cells contains the same copy of our genome but - it is how
distinct parts of the genome are accessed in different cells that allows
embryogenesis to proceed and for specialised cell types to emerge and
be maintained. Defects in this process can lead to developmental disorders,
immunodeficiency and cancer. The overall aim of our lab is to understand
how access to the genome is controlled during cell differentiation. We are
currently focused on understanding how new types of non-coding RNAs
function with transcriptional and chromatin regulators to direct cell

We have two main research programmes:

1. Role of non-coding RNAs in polycomb-mediated repression.
Polycomb proteins maintain cell identity by repressing the expression of
developmental regulators specific for other cell types. We have identified
a class of 50-200nt short RNAs transcribed from the beginning of polycomb
target genes in adult T-cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells (Kanhere et
al., 2010). The short RNAs interact with PRC2 through a stem-loop
structure, cause gene repression and are depleted from polycomb target
genes activated during neuronal differentiation. These results support a
role for short RNAs in the association of PRC2 with its target genes. We
are currently exploring the origins and functions of this new class of
RNAs using ES cell and T-cell systems.

2. Transcriptional regulation of CD4+ T-cell differentiation.
CD4+ T helper (Th) cells can differentiate into a number of effector types
that tailor the immune response to different pathogens and we use this
system to understand how genes are regulated to specify different cell types.
We have mapped the binding sites of the Th1 and Th2 master regulators
T-bet and GATA3 in primary human T cells and found that these factors
act through a shared set of target genes (Jenner et al., 2009). More recently, we have discovered that T-bet and GATA3 act through distal sites and that T-bet redistributes GATA3 to different sites in Th1 cells (Kanhere et al., 2012).

Research Activities

Control of cell fate by regulating gene expression

Transcription and chromatin

Transcriptional Regulation

Education Description

I lecture on the UCL MSc courses in Infection and Immunity and Cancer
and the Intercalated BSc in Immunology, Infection & Cell Pathology.

UCL Collaborators

Dr Shanie Budhram-Mahadeo; Prof Mike Ehrenstein; Prof Chris Boshoff; Prof Greg Towers

External Collaborators



    • Ramasubramanyan S, Osborn K, Al-Mohammad R, Naranjo Perez-Fernandez IB, Zuo J, Balan N, Godfrey A, Patel H, Peters G, Rowe M, Jenner RG, Sinclair AJ (2015). Epstein-Barr virus transcription factor Zta acts through distal regulatory elements to directly control cellular gene expression.. Nucleic acids research, 43(7), 3563 - 3577. doi:10.1093/nar/gkv212
    • Vlachogiannis G, Niederhuth CE, Tuna S, Stathopoulou A, Viiri K, de Rooij DG, Jenner RG, Schmitz RJ, Ooi SKT (2015). The Dnmt3L ADD Domain Controls Cytosine Methylation Establishment during Spermatogenesis. CELL REPORTS, 10(6), 944 - 956. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.01.021
    • Nguyen LP, Pan J, Dinh TT, Hadeiba H, O'Hara E, Ebtikar A, Hertweck A, Gökmen MR, Lord GM, Jenner RG, Butcher EC, Habtezion A (2015). Role and species-specific expression of colon T cell homing receptor GPR15 in colitis.. Nat Immunol, 16(2), 207 - 213. doi:10.1038/ni.3079


    • Bouwman RD, Palser A, Parry CM, Coulter E, Rasaiyaah J, Kellam P, Jenner RG (2014). Human immunodeficiency virus Tat associates with a specific set of cellular RNAs.. Retrovirology, 11, 53 - . doi:10.1186/1742-4690-11-53


    • Evans CM, Jenner RG (2013). Transcription factor interplay in T helper cell differentiation.. Brief Funct Genomics, 12(6), 499 - 511. doi:10.1093/bfgp/elt025
    • Gökmen MR, Dong R, Kanhere A, Powell N, Perucha E, Jackson I, Howard JK, Hernandez-Fuentes M, Jenner RG, Lord GM (2013). Genome-wide regulatory analysis reveals that T-bet controls Th17 lineage differentiation through direct suppression of IRF4.. J Immunol, 191(12), 5925 - 5932. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202254
    • McClellan MJ, Wood CD, Ojeniyi O, Cooper TJ, Kanhere A, Arvey A, Webb HM, Palermo RD, Harth-Hertle ML, Kempkes B, Jenner RG, West MJ (2013). Modulation of enhancer looping and differential gene targeting by Epstein-Barr virus transcription factors directs cellular reprogramming.. PLoS Pathog, 9(9), e1003636 - . doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003636


    • Kanhere A, Jenner RG (2012). Noncoding RNA localisation mechanisms in chromatin regulation.. Silence, 3(1), 2 - . doi:10.1186/1758-907X-3-2
    • McClellan MJ, Khasnis S, Wood CD, Palermo RD, Schlick SN, Kanhere AS, Jenner RG, West MJ (2012). Downregulation of integrin receptor-signaling genes by Epstein-Barr virus EBNA 3C via promoter-proximal and -distal binding elements.. J Virol, 86(9), 5165 - 5178. doi:10.1128/JVI.07161-11
    • Powell N, Stolarczyk E, Canavan J, Gökmen M, Marks E, Jackson I, Howard J, Lord G, Hashim A, Curtis M, MacDonald T, Walker A, Parkhill J, Jenner RG (2012). The Transcription Factor T-bet Regulates Intestinal Inflammation Mediated by Interleukin-7 Receptor Innate Lymphoid Cells. Immunity, 37(4), 674 - 684. doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2012.09.008
    • Kanhere A, Hertweck A, Bhatia U, Gokmen MR, Perucha E, Lord GM, Jenner RG (2012). T-bet and GATA3 orchestrate Th1 and Th2 differentiation through lineage-specific targeting of distal regulatory elements. Nature Communications, , - .
    • Ramasubramanyan S, Kanhere A, Osborn K, Flower K, Jenner RG, Sinclair AJ (2012). Genome-wide analyses of Zta binding to the Epstein-Barr virus genome reveals interactions in both early and late lytic cycles and an epigenetic switch leading to an altered binding profile.. J Virol, 86(23), 12494 - 12502. doi:10.1128/JVI.01705-12


    • Schaller T, Ocwieja KE, Rasaiyaah J, Price AJ, Brady TL, Roth SL, Hué S, Fletcher AJ, Lee K, KewalRamani VN, Noursadeghi M, Jenner RG, James LC, Bushman FD, Towers GJ (2011). HIV-1 capsid-cyclophilin interactions determine nuclear import pathway, integration targeting and replication efficiency.. PLoS Pathog, 7(12), e1002439 - . doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002439
    • Rani A, Afzali B, Kelly A, Tewolde-Berhan L, Hackett M, Kanhere AS, Pedroza-Pacheco I, Bowen H, Jurcevic S, Jenner RG, Cousins DJ, Ragheb JA, Lavender P, John S (2011). IL-2 regulates expression of C-MAF in human CD4 T cells.. J Immunol, 187(7), 3721 - 3729. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1002354


    • Vozzolo L, Loh B, Gane PJ, Tribak M, Zhou L, Anderson I, Nyakatura E, Jenner RG, Selwood D, Fassati A (2010). Gyrase B inhibitor impairs HIV-1 replication by targeting Hsp90 and the capsid protein.. J Biol Chem, 285(50), 39314 - 39328. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.155275
    • Kanhere A, Viiri K, Araújo CC, Rasaiyaah J, Bouwman RD, Whyte WA, Pereira CF, Brookes E, Walker K, Bell GW, Pombo A, Fisher AG, Young RA, Jenner RG (2010). Short RNAs are transcribed from repressed polycomb target genes and interact with polycomb repressive complex-2.. Mol Cell, 38(5), 675 - 688. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2010.03.019


    • Jenner RG, Townsend MJ, Jackson I, Sun K, Bouwman RD, Young RA, Glimcher LH, Lord GM (2009). The transcription factors T-bet and GATA-3 control alternative pathways of T-cell differentiation through a shared set of target genes.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106(42), 17876 - 17881. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909357106


    • Kim N, Dabrowska A, Jenner RG, Aldovini A (2007). Human and simian immunodeficiency virus-mediated upregulation of the apoptotic factor TRAIL occurs in antigen-presenting cells from AIDS-susceptible but not from AIDS-resistant species.. J Virol, 81(14), 7584 - 7597. doi:10.1128/JVI.02616-06


    • Lee TI, Jenner RG, Boyer LA, Guenther MG, Levine SS, Kumar RM, Chevalier B, Johnstone SE, Cole MF, Isono K, Koseki H, Fuchikami T, Abe K, Murray HL, Zucker JP, Yuan B, Bell GW, Herbolsheimer E, Hannett NM, Sun K, Odom DT, Otte AP, Volkert TL, Bartel DP, Melton DA, Gifford DK, Jaenisch R, Young RA (2006). Control of developmental regulators by Polycomb in human embryonic stem cells.. Cell, 125(2), 301 - 313. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.02.043
    • Schreiber J, Jenner RG, Murray HL, Gerber GK, Gifford DK, Young RA (2006). Coordinated binding of NF-kappaB family members in the response of human cells to lipopolysaccharide.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 103(15), 5899 - 5904. doi:10.1073/pnas.0510996103


    • Boyer LA, Lee TI, Cole MF, Johnstone SE, Levine SS, Zucker JP, Guenther MG, Kumar RM, Murray HL, Jenner RG, Gifford DK, Melton DA, Jaenisch R, Young RA (2005). Core transcriptional regulatory circuitry in human embryonic stem cells.. Cell, 122(6), 947 - 956. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2005.08.020
    • Guenther MG, Jenner RG, Chevalier B, Nakamura T, Croce CM, Canaani E, Young RA (2005). Global and Hox-specific roles for the MLL1 methyltransferase.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 102(24), 8603 - 8608. doi:10.1073/pnas.0503072102
    • Zhang X, Odom DT, Koo SH, Conkright MD, Canettieri G, Best J, Chen H, Jenner R, Herbolsheimer E, Jacobsen E, Kadam S, Ecker JR, Emerson B, Hogenesch JB, Unterman T, Young RA, Montminy M (2005). Genome-wide analysis of cAMP-response element binding protein occupancy, phosphorylation, and target gene activation in human tissues.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 102(12), 4459 - 4464. doi:10.1073/pnas.0501076102
    • Jenner RG, Young RA (2005). Insights into host responses against pathogens from transcriptional profiling.. Nat Rev Microbiol, 3(4), 281 - 294. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1126


    • Kellam P, Holzerlandt R, Jenner R, Kwan A, Gramoustianou E, DeGroot (2003). Viral bioinformatics: Computational views of host and pathogen. Novartis Foundation Symposium, 254, 234 - 249.
    • Jenner RG, Maillard K, Cattini N, Weiss RA, Boshoff C, Wooster R, Kellam P (2003). Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-infected primary effusion lymphoma has a plasma cell gene expression profile.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 100(18), 10399 - 10404. doi:10.1073/pnas.1630810100


    • Jenner RG, Boshoff C (2002). The molecular pathology of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1602(1), 1 - 22.


    • Jenner RG, Albà MM, Boshoff C, Kellam P (2001). Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latent and lytic gene expression as revealed by DNA arrays.. J Virol, 75(2), 891 - 902. doi:10.1128/JVI.75.2.891-902.2001

    • Jenner RG, Kellam P, Tsao E (). Methods, compounds and compositions relating to activating a latent virus.