Research Area D: Protein Nucleic Acid Interactions
The identity of cells and their differentiation potential is defined by their protein constituents, which are a direct consequence of gene expression programmes. The various steps in gene expression, from the transcription in a chromatin environment to protein synthesis are governed by dynamic interactions of regulatory proteins with nucleic acids. In Munich a number of groups specialise in analysing such interactions. They contribute complementary expertise and are connected through various local research networks. We propose to systematically strengthen an existing focus on epigenetic regulatory principles by e.g. integrating synthetic efforts to create specific inhibitors (area E) and to broaden it to include the characterisation of the features and differentiation potential of stem cells and pluripotent precursor cells. Special consideration will be given to the role of regulatory RNA on transcription in a chromatin environment. The support applied for in the context of this proposal shall contribute, in addition to other measures, to strengthen and connect the large areas of Developmental Biology, Cell Differentiation and ‘Epigenetic Gene Regulation’ with a long-term goal of making substantial contributions to clinical applications in regenerative medicine.