Department of Biochemistry University of Oxford Department of Biochemistry
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3QU

Tel: +44 (0)1865 613200
Fax: +44 (0)1865 613201
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Jane Mellor
Chromatin remodeling and gene regulation in simple eukaryotes

Co-workers:Dr Françoise Howe, Ms Anitha Nair, Mr Harry Fischl, Ms Ronja Woloszczuk,
Ms Nicola Hall, Dr Struan Murray, Ms Karolina Chocian

Controlled access to the information stored in our DNA genomes is mediated in part by our epigenome; the layer of information that influences events on the DNA without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic control of gene expression occurs in three main ways; by non-coding RNAs, by methylation of CG dinucleotides in DNA and through various reversible covalent modifications to histone proteins. Defects in epigenetic control processes make a significant contribution to age-related diseases and a global effort is underway to decipher the epigenetic code and to understand how it influences gene expression.

My group uses the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the nematode worm, Caenhorrhabitis elegans as model organisms in which to study how non-coding RNAs,

higher order structures in chromatin, and histone modifications influence the response to changes in nutrient availability and ageing. Caloric restriction is known to increase lifespan in a wide range of organisms including yeast and may ameliorate the effects of age-related diseases but the mechanism involved are poorly understood. Yeast and worms offer a powerful tool for dissecting the pathways that allow cells to switch from active growth into a long-lived quiescent state. We use 3C analysis, RNA-FISH, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, nascent transcript mapping and most standard wet techniques.


  1. Nguyen T, Fischl H, Howe FS, Woloszczuk R, Serra Barros A, Xu Z, Brown D, Murray SC, Haenni S, Halstead JM, O'Connor L, Shipkovenska G, Steinmetz LM, Mellor J.
    Transcription mediated insulation and interference direct gene cluster expression switches.
    Elife. 2014 Nov 19;3:e03635. doi: 10.7554/eLife.03635. PMID:25407679
  2. Howe FS, Boubriak I, Sale MJ, Nair A, Clynes D, Grijzenhout A, Murray SC, Woloszczuk R, Mellor J.
    Lysine acetylation controls local protein conformation by influencing proline isomerization.
    Mol Cell. 2014 Sep 4;55(5):733-44. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.07.004. Epub 2014 Aug 7. PMID:25127513
  3. Murray SC, Serra Barros A, Brown DA, Dudek P, Ayling J, Mellor J.
    A pre-initiation complex at the 3'-end of genes drives antisense transcription independent of divergent sense transcription.
    Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Mar;40(6):2432-44. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr1121. Epub 2011 Nov 28. PMID:22123739
  4. Gkikopoulos T, Schofield P, Singh V, Pinskaya M, Mellor J, Smolle M, Workman JL, Barton GJ, Owen-Hughes T.
    A role for Snf2-related nucleosome-spacing enzymes in genome-wide nucleosome organization.
    Science. 2011 Sep 23;333(6050):1758-60. doi: 10.1126/science.1206097. PMID:21940898
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