An Unexplored Genome Insulating Mechanism in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Caenorhabditis Elegans genome maintains active H3K36me3 chromatin domains interspersed with repressive H3K27me3 domains on the autosomes’ distal ends. The mechanisms stabilizing these domains and the prevention of position-effect variegation remains unknown as no insulator elements have been identified in C. elegans. De-novo motif discovery applied on mes-4 binding sites links the H3K36me3-specific methyltransferase to a class of non-coding DNA known as Periodic An/Tn Clusters (PATCs). PATCs display characteristics of insulator elements such as local nucleosome depletion and their restriction to genes with specific expression profiles and chromatin marks. Finally, I describe a set of experiments to further investigate the role of PATCs and mes-4 in the maintenance of stable chromatin domains using a synthetic biology approach.
Date of AwardNov 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorChristian Froekjaer Jensen (Supervisor)


  • Gene Regulation
  • Insulator elements
  • Bioinformatics

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