Friday, February 8th
11:00 am – Jules Bordet meeting room, Metchnikoff building
“Feeling the heat at chromatin: transcriptional response to stress”
Invited Speaker: Ritwick Sawarkar
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
Abstract: Metazoan cells react to environmental stress by mounting a rapid and reversible response of global transcriptional downregulation along with induction of a small number of stress-response genes. This classical phenomenon raises three key questions: (i) how is the stress sensed in the cytosol? (ii) What are the effectors of the transcriptional downregulation in the nucleus? (iii) How are the cytosolic stress sensors linked to nuclear transcriptional effectors? In the process of answering these simple questions, we have linked protein quality control in the cytoplasm to RNA polymerase activity in the nucleus via kinase cascades. Our studies uncovered chromatin-based regulation via phase separation of transcriptional regulatory complexes. Recent advances in our understanding of how cells re-program their regulatory network to deal with stress will be presented.