SET-domain and Methyl-CpG-binding domain proteins
We have identified the Arabidopsis genes encoding SET-domain and MBD proteins involved in epigenetic control of gene expression.
SET domain proteins add methyl groups to lysine residues on the histone tails, and may therefore influence chromatin structure. We are studying the function of selected SET domain proteins, and have discovered interesting mutant phenotypes, as well as novel substrate and product specificities.
Methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) proteins
In animals, MBD proteins have been shown to bind methylated DNA.
We have identified 12 genes encoding proteins with such domains in Arabidopsis and are presently studying a number of them.
Interesting mutant phenotypes have been discovered using RNA interfenrence and T-DNA insertion lines.
In genetically modified plants, transgenes are not always expressed as expected. We have been focusing on genomic position effects possibly involved in silencing of single-copy transgenes.