Knipscheer: Genome Maintenance

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The Knipscheer group studies molecular mechanisms of DNA replication and repair.

Cellular processes that maintain the integrity of our genome are crucial to prevent genetic diseases such as cancer. The main interest of our laboratory is to decipher the molecular details of these processes. Currently, we focus on understanding how toxic DNA lesions, called interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), are repaired, and how stable secondary DNA structures (G-quadruplexes) are resolved. We study these processes in the context of active DNA replication and make use of Xenopus egg extracts that support highly regulated vertebrate DNA replication in vitro. In this experimental system, we can recapitulate both ICL repair and G-quadruplex replication in a test tube, allowing us to gain insights in their molecular mechanisms.

Key publications

Dev Biol. 428(2):300-309


EMBO J. 36(14):2034-2046


FANCJ promotes DNA synthesis through G-quadruplex structures.

Castillo Bosch P, Segura-Bayona S, Koole W, van Heteren J, Dewar J, Tijsterman M#, Knipscheer P#

EMBO J. 33(21):2521-33


XPF-ERCC1 acts in unhooking DNA interstrand crosslinks in cooperation with FANCD2 and FANCP/SLX4.

Klein Douwel D*, Boonen RACM*, Long DT, Szypowska AA, Räschle M, Walter JC, Knipscheer P

Mol Cell. 54(3):460-71


The Fanconi anemia pathway promotes replication-dependent DNA interstrand crosslink repair.

Knipscheer P, Räschle M, Smogorzewska A, Enoiu M, Ho TV, Schärer OD, Elledge SJ, Walter JC

Science. 326:1698-1701


Mechanism of replication-coupled DNA interstrand crosslink repair.

Räschle M, Knipscheer P, Enoiu M, Angelov T, Sun J, Griffith JD, Ellenberger TE, Schärer OD, Walter JC

Cell. 134:969-980


Group leader

Puck Knipscheer

Puck Knipscheer is group leader at the Hubrecht Institute. Her group studies how toxic DNA lesions, called DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), are repaired and how secondary DNA structures (G-quadruplexes) are resolved. These processes are important to maintain the integrity of our genome which is crucial to prevent genetic diseases such as cancer.  The Knipscheer group studies these processes during active DNA replication in Xenopus egg extracts. These extracts recapitulate both processes under physiological conditions, which enables them to study the molecular details of these important pathways.

Scientific training and positions


Group members

Puck Knipscheer

Group Leader

Merlijn Witte


Aiko Hendrikx


Koichi Sato


Jamie Barnett


Wouter Hoogenboom

PhD Student

Alice Bolner

PhD Student

Roxanne van der Sluijs

PhD Student

Themistoklis Liolios


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