Mattiroli: Epigenome inheritance

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The Mattiroli group studies chromatin dynamics during DNA replication to understand how the epigenetic information is faithfully propagated during cell division.

In eukaryotes, chromatin organizes the genetic and epigenetic information of the cell. The epigenetic information ensures the spatial and timely organization of gene transcription that determines cell identity. Aberrant regulation of the epigenetic information results in changes in cell fate decisions, thereby affecting development and tissue homeostasis, and ultimately leading to disease, such as cancer.

During cell division, accurate propagation of the epigenetic information is thus essential for cell survival and disease avoidance. While we understand how the genetic information is replicated in S phase, we lack mechanistic knowledge on how the epigenetic information, specifically histone post-translational modifications in nucleosomes, are propagated to daughter cells.

Key publications

Structure of histone-based chromatin in archaea

Mattiroli F*, Bhattacharyya S*, Dyer PN, White AE, Sandman K, Burkhart BW, Byrne KR, Lee T, Ahn NG, Santangelo TJ, Reeve JN, Luger K

Science 357(6351):609-612


DNA-mediated association of two histone-bound complexes of yeast Chromatin Assembly Factor-1 (CAF-1) drives tetrasome assembly in the wake of DNA replication

Mattiroli F*, Gu Y*, Yadav T, Balsbaugh JL, Harry MR, Findlay ES, Liu Y, Radebaugh CA, Stargell LA, Ahn NG, Whitehouse I, Luger K

Elife 6:e22799


Sci Rep. 7:46274


Nat Commun. 5:3291


RNF168 ubiquitinates K13-15 on H2A/H2AX to drive DNA damage signaling

Mattiroli F, Vissers JHA, van Dijk WJ, Ikpa P, Citterio E, Vermeulen W, Marteijn JA, Sixma TK

Cell 150(6):1182-95


RNF8- and RNF168-dependent degradation of KDM4A/JMJD2A triggers 53BP1 recruitment to DNA damage sites

Mallette FA, Mattiroli F, Cui G, Young LC, Hendzel MJ, Mer G, Sixma TK, Richard S

EMBO J. 31(8):1865-78


Group leader

Francesca Mattiroli

Francesca Mattiroli is a group leader at the Hubrecht Institute since January 2018. Her group investigates the mechanisms that control inheritance of the epigenetic information contained in nucleosomes, during cell division and in situation of DNA damage. The Mattiroli group integrates biochemical, structural and cell biology approaches. They use recombinant reconstitutions of chromatin replication and study the biophysical and structural properties of key protein-protein interactions and their functions. These studies will reveal how cells control fate and survival, paving the way to potential novel therapeutic strategies in cancer and other diseases.

Scientific training and positions

Group members

Francesca Mattiroli

Group Leader

Bruna Eckhardt

PhD Student

Jan Dreyer

PhD Student

Clément Rouillon

PhD Student

Alex Verkennis


Gudbjorg Eva Gudjonsdottir


Maaike Steenkamp


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