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Wendt, Kerstin

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Kerstin Wendt studied biochemistry at the University of Leipzig in Germany and did her PhD in the structural biology lab of Robert Huber at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. One of the protein structures she solved there was a component of the anaphase promoting complex (APC/C), an important regulator of mitosis. This work raised her interest in cell cycle regulators and especially in proteins that can organize DNA strands. To switch from structural biology to cell biology and study these proteins she obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the German Research Association and joined in 2003 the lab of Jan-Michael Peters at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna/Austria.

There she discovered a novel condensin complex (condensin II) and studied where cohesin binds in the human genome. This genome-wide study lead to the discovery that the cohesin complex, well known to hold sister chromatids together after replication, has a role in chromatin insulation and cooperates with the chromatin insulator CTCF.

In 2009 she started her own group in the Department of Cell Biology of the Erasmus MC.

Current research interest
Her research focus is how cohesin contributes to the folding of the chromatin fibre and the implication of these chromatin folds for regulation of gene activity. Major tools for these studies are chromatin conformation capturing and next-generation sequencing. Furthermore, she is interested in how defects in cohesin and cohesin regulators can lead to severed developmental defects such as Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

Wendt group page 

 

Key publications

Yeong, F.M., et al. (2003)
Identification of a subunit of a novel Kleisin-beta/SMC complex as a potential substrate of protein phosphatase 2A
Curr Biol 13:2058-2064

Koch, B., et al. (2008)
The Suv39h-HP1 histone methylation pathway is dispensable for enrichment and protection of cohesin at centromeres in mammalian cells
Chromosoma 117:199-210

Wendt, K.S., et al. (2008)
Cohesin mediates transcriptional insulation by CCCTC-binding factor
Nature 451:796-801

Wendt, K.S. and J.M. Peters (2009)
How cohesin and CTCF cooperate in regulating gene expression
Chromosome Res 17:201-214

Nativio, R., et al. (2009)
Cohesin is required for higher-order chromatin conformation at the imprinted IGF2-H19 locus
PLoS Genet 5: e1000739.