Explore the inner galaxy of your genesReady to explore the inner galaxy of your genes?
A video by researchers at the Babraham Institute allows a glimpse into the physical interactions occurring in the genome. Reflecting the beauty of a distant galaxy, the video shows a three-dimensional view of the contact points between the 22,000 genes in the mouse genome. This view was made possible by a new technique developed at the Institute which maps physical interactions occurring over short and long-distances throughout the genome to control the expression of genes.
Narrated by Dr Sarah Elderkin, Babraham Institute group leader, the short video guides the viewer through the gene galaxy. A zoom into the heart of the data cluster reveals how a protein complex called Polycomb repressive complex (PRC1) physically holds and silences key developmental genes in the earliest embryonic cells. As the embryo develops, genes are selectively released from the complex at the appropriate developmental time points to create specialised cell types and organs within the embryo.
This research forms part of the Institute’s Nuclear Dynamics research programme which aims to understand how the genome is folded and packaged in 3D to facilitate and coordinate the expression of thousands of genes. The work presented here and in the accompanying publication was supported by the Wellcome Trust, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), EU, Medical Research Council (MRC) and the European Commission as part of the FP7 EpiGeneSys Network of Excellence. The Babraham Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
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Publication reference:Schoenfelder et al. (2015) Polycomb repressive complex PRC1 spatially constrains the mouse embryonic stem cell genome. Nature Genetics
4 November, 2015