Karl Mechtler

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Distinct modifications of histone amino termini, such as acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation, have been proposed to underlie a chromatin-based regulatory mechanism that modulates the accessibility of genetic information. In addition to histone modifications that facilitate gene activity, it is of similar importance to restrict inappropriate gene(More)
The organization of chromatin into higher-order structures influences chromosome function and epigenetic gene regulation. Higher-order chromatin has been proposed to be nucleated by the covalent modification of histone tails and the subsequent establishment of chromosomal subdomains by non-histone modifier factors. Here we show that human SUV39H1 and murine(More)
Histone H3 lysine 9 methylation has been proposed to provide a major "switch" for the functional organization of chromosomal subdomains. Here, we show that the murine Suv39h histone methyltransferases (HMTases) govern H3-K9 methylation at pericentric heterochromatin and induce a specialized histone methylation pattern that differs from the broad H3-K9(More)
How stem cells generate both differentiating and self-renewing daughter cells is unclear. Here, we show that Drosophila larval neuroblasts-stem cell-like precursors of the adult brain-regulate proliferation by segregating the growth inhibitor Brat and the transcription factor Prospero into only one daughter cell. Like Prospero, Brat binds and cosegregates(More)
To generate different cell types, some cells can segregate protein determinants into one of their two daughter cells during mitosis. In Drosophila neuroblasts, the Par protein complex localizes apically and directs localization of the cell fate determinants Prospero and Numb and the adaptor proteins Miranda and Pon to the basal cell cortex, to ensure their(More)
Methylation of position-specific lysine residues in histone N termini is a central modification for regulating epigenetic transitions in chromatin. Each methylatable lysine residue can exist in a mono-, di-, or trimethylated state, thereby extending the indexing potential of this particular modification. Here, we examine all possible methylation states for(More)
Cohesin establishes sister-chromatid cohesion from S phase until mitosis or meiosis. To allow chromosome segregation, cohesion has to be dissolved. In vertebrate cells, this process is mediated in part by the protease separase, which destroys a small amount of cohesin, but most cohesin is removed from chromosomes without proteolysis. How this is achieved is(More)
Segregation of homologous maternal and paternal centromeres to opposite poles during meiosis I depends on post-replicative crossing over between homologous non-sister chromatids, which creates chiasmata and therefore bivalent chromosomes. Destruction of sister chromatid cohesion along chromosome arms due to proteolytic cleavage of cohesin's Rec8 subunit by(More)
Histone lysine methylation has important roles in the organization of chromatin domains and the regulation of gene expression. To analyze its function and modulate its activity, we screened for specific inhibitors against histone lysine methyltransferases (HMTases) using recombinant G9a as the target enzyme. From a chemical library comprising 125,000(More)
Chromosome segregation and cell division are essential, highly ordered processes that depend on numerous protein complexes. Results from recent RNA interference screens indicate that the identity and composition of these protein complexes is incompletely understood. Using gene tagging on bacterial artificial chromosomes, protein localization, and(More)