Institute of Healthy Ageing


IHA seminar - Dr Ritwick Sawarkar - 7 September 2017

1 August 2017

Title: Chaperones@chromatin.nucleus: implications in development, ageing and evolution
Speaker: Ritwick Sawarkar (Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany)
Venue:  Darwin B15 (map)
Abstract: Heat-shock protein 90 (HSP90) is a chaperone thought to work mostly in the cytosol.  Our studies have identified chromatin and sites of gene expression as a novel location of the function of HSP90, raising the question how much of the HSP90 function can be attributed to its role in gene regulation. The talk will focus on the exciting function of HSP90 in buffering genetic variation. We found an unexpected role of HSP90 in buffering cis-regulatory variation, genetic differences in promoters and enhancers affecting gene expression. By using an epigenetic pathway, HSP90 represses the regulatory influence of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) on neighboring genes that are critical for mouse development. Our findings using natural genetic variation in the mouse genome add a new regulatory layer through which HSP90 uncouples phenotypic outcomes from individual genotypes.