Epigenetic regulation, heterochromatin and anti-fungal resistance

Prof. Robin Allshire
Professor of Chromosome Biology, Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology, Institute of Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh

 

Robin first demonstrated that fission yeast centromeres contain heterochromatin and went on to demonstrate that this heterochromatin plays a pivotal role in ensuring sister-centromere cohesion, promoting CENP -A chromatin and thus, kinetochore assembly. His team found that histone H3 lysine 9 methylation can act as a bona fide epigenetic mark allowing the transmission of information though cell division. Recently they discovered that this epigenetic mechanism allows fungi to develop resistance to antifungal drugs without alterations to their DNA . This finding is important for understanding how pathogenic fungi become resistant to the limited number of available antifungal agents in both clinical and agricultural arenas.

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