Liquid-liquid phase transitions (LLPTs) are emerging as an important link between several biological and medical phenomena. In particular, mechanisms related to transcription in mammalian cells are subject to several unexplained observations that could be explained by LLPTs in a unifying fashion.
It is therefore the overall aim of our project is to study the role of LLPTs in organization transcription and linking its associated subphenomena.
We have set up an experimental system to induce LLPT at specific positions in the genome. The clip shows induction of droplet formation upon exposing the cells to blue light.
We are currently characterizing the properties of these LLPT related droplets and their effects on transcription and the genome structure with a number of next generation sequencing techniques and theoretical physics.
The example below shows an interaction matrix based on a chromosome conformation capture assay; colour intensity indicates contact frequency between positions along chromosome 7.