Gene regulation and the epigenome
Prof. Rob Klose | Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, UK

Virtually every cell in the body has the same genetic information yet individual cells can achieve highly specialized states with vastly differing morphology and functionality. This is facilitated by so-called epigenetic modifications, i.e. DNA methylation and histone modifications, which govern chromatin packing and gene expression, thus allowing for different gene expression patterns in different cell types. The research in Prof. Klose's lab focuses on how these epigenetic modifications determine gene activity and chromatin state. In particular, his research focuses on the so-called CpG-islands found in vertebrate genomes, and on various protein complexes and enzymes involved in epigenetic regulation.
Prof. Klose obtained his Ph.D. (2005) with Prof. Sir Adrian Bird as supervisor, and then did a postdoc in Yi Zhang's lab, making seminal contributions to the hallmark discovery of histone demethylases. Thereafter he has been group leader, and since 2014, professor at Oxford University. He is a holder of an ERC consolidator grant (since 2016), and he received in 2015 the prestigious Francis Crick Medal, awarded by the Royal society. He is known as an excellent speaker.
Selected references
  • Long HK, King HW, Patient RK, Odom DT, Klose RJ. Protection of CpG islands from DNA methylation is DNA-encoded and evolutionarily conserved. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Aug 19;44(14):6693-706.
  • Dimitrova E, Turberfield AH, Klose RJ. Histone demethylases in chromatin biology and beyond. EMBO Rep. 2015 Dec;16(12):1620-39.
  • Blackledge NP, Farcas AM, Kondo T, King HW, McGouran JF, Hanssen LL, Ito S, Cooper S, Kondo K, Koseki Y, Ishikura T, Long HK, Sheahan TW, Brockdorff N, Kessler BM, Koseki H, Klose RJ. Variant PRC1 complex-dependent H2A ubiquitylation drives PRC2 recruitment and polycomb domain formation. Cell. 2014 Jun 5;157(6):1445-59.
  • Klose RJ, Yamane K, Bae Y, Zhang D, Erdjument-Bromage H, Tempst P, Wong J, Zhang Y. The transcriptional repressor JHDM3A demethylates trimethyl histone H3 lysine 9 and lysine 36. Nature. 2006 Jul 20;442(7100):312-6.