Epigenetic regulation and nuclear organization in mammalian development and disease.
In the Yildirim lab, we are interested in understanding how the coding capacity and the functionality of the mammalian genome is fine-tuned by epigenetic factors and nuclear organization. We primarily use X-chromosome inactivation as a model to study how epigenetic mechanisms, particularly those that are mediated by long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), complement gene expression, impact genome stability and define cell fate decisions.
Other research in the lab focuses on understanding how spatial organization of the genome is achieved through interactions that are formed between chromatin and components of the nuclear envelope. Our goal is to define the molecular bases of these interactions and delineate their significance in driving gene expression and genome functions. We approach these two main areas of research by utilizing a variety of genetic, cell biological and genomics tools using mouse stem cells and mouse models. In the long run, a detailed understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, and cellular mechanisms that are mediated by lncRNAs and spatial positioning will allow us to explore their causal roles in disease and cancer.