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Berg, van den Debbie

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Debbie van den Berg studied Biomedical Sciences at Utrecht University and obtained her PhD from Erasmus University in 2010. During her PhD she employed protein purification methodology to characterize the transcription factor network in mouse embryonic stem cells. She found that the pluripotency factor Oct4 plays a key role in targeting interacting transcription factors to genomic regulatory elements and identified Esrrb as a positive regulator of Nanog expression. She also conceived ChIP-MS, a novel approach to identify the proteomic landscape at regulatory elements in a given cell type.

In 2011 she moved to London (UK) to conduct her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of François Guillemot at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and the Francis Crick Institute. There she identified a role for the cohesin loading factor Nipbl and its novel interaction partners, Zfp609 and the Integrator complex, in regulating cortical neuron migration. Abnormal neuronal migration likely contributes to the neurological defects observed in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome patients, the majority of whom carry heterozygous mutations in NIPBL.

She established her own research group at the Erasmus MC Department of Cell Biology in June 2017, continuing to study the role of transcriptional regulators in brain development. She employs both in vitro cultured human neural progenitor cells, human cerebral organoids and embryonic mouse models to assess the molecular mechanisms and neurodevelopmental impact of clinically relevant mutations in these regulators.

Link to lab website:

Selected publications:

Van den Berg, D.L.#, Azzarelli, R., Oishi, K., Martynoga, B., Urban, N., Dekkers, D.H., Demmers, J.A., and Guillemot, F.# (2017). Nipbl Interacts with Zfp609 and the Integrator Complex to Regulate Cortical Neuron Migration. Neuron 93, 348-361. # corresponding authors

Oegema, R., Baillat, D., Schot, R., van Unen, L.M., Brooks, A., Kia, S.K., Hoogeboom, A.J.M., Xia, Z., Li, W., Cesaroni, M., Lequin, M.H., van Slegtenhorst, M., Dobyns, W.B., de Coo, I.F.M., van den Berg, D., Verheijen, F.W., Kremer, A., van der Spek, P.J., Heijsman, D., Wagner, E.J., Fornerod, M., and Mancini, G.M.S. (2017). Human mutations in integrator complex subunits link transcriptome integrity to brain development. PLOS Genetics 13, e1006923.

Urban, N., van den Berg, D.L., Forget, A., Andersen, J., Demmers, J.A., Hunt, C., Ayrault, O., and Guillemot, F. (2016). Return to quiescence of mouse neural stem cells by degradation of a proactivation protein. Science 353, 292-295.

Mateo, J.L., van den Berg, D.L., Haeussler, M., Drechsel, D., Gaber, Z.B., Castro, D.S., Robson, P., Crawford, G.E., Flicek, P., Ettwiller, L., Wittbrodt, J., Guillemot, F., and Martynoga, B. (2015). Characterization of the neural stem cell gene regulatory network identifies OLIG2 as a multifunctional regulator of self-renewal. Genome Res 25, 41-56.

Engelen, E., Brandsma, J.H., Moen, M.J., Signorile, L., Dekkers, D.H., Demmers, J., Kockx, C.E., Ozgur, Z., van IJcken, I.W.F., van den Berg, D.L.#, and Poot, R.A.# (2015). Proteins that bind regulatory regions identified by histone modification chromatin immunoprecipitations and mass spectrometry. Nat Commun 6, 7155. # corresponding authors

Van den Berg, D.L., Snoek, T., Mullin, N.P., Yates, A., Bezstarosti, K., Demmers, J., Chambers, I., and Poot, R.A. (2010). An Oct4-centered protein interaction network in embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell 6, 369-381.

Van den Berg, D.L., Zhang, W., Yates, A., Engelen, E., Takacs, K., Bezstarosti, K., Demmers, J., Chambers, I., and Poot, R.A. (2008). Estrogen-related receptor beta interacts with Oct4 to positively regulate Nanog gene expression. Mol Cell Biol 28, 5986-5995.