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Prof. Dr. J. (Joost) Gribnau

head department Developmental Biology




Joost Gribnau studied biochemistry at Leiden University, and received his PhD in Rotterdam from the Department of Cell Biology and Genetics at Erasmus University in 1999. His PhD was focused on the regulation of beta-globin expression and chromatin structures. He received his postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research / MIT (Cambridge, USA) in the laboratory of Professor R. Jaenisch. Gribnau investigated the role of replication timing and DNA methylation in genome imprinting and X-inactivation. He also developed a system for tracking Xist RNA in living cells.

In 2004, Gribnau started his own research group at the Department of Cell Biology at Erasmus MC; he recently moved to the Department of Reproduction and Development. He received a VIDI in 2004 and an HFSP CDA grant. His main interest is in X-inactivation and genome imprinting. His group investigates the role of Xist RNA, and proteins associated with Xist RNA, at different stages of the X-inactivation process. He was awarded a VICI in 2010.



Barakat TS, Jonkers I, Monkhorst K, Gribnau J (2010)
X-changing information on X inactivation
Exp Cell Res 316(5):679-687

Jonkers I, Barakat TS, Achame EM, Monkhorst K, Kenter A, Rentmeester E, Grosveld F, Grootegoed JA, Gribnau J (2009)
RNF12 is an X-Encoded dose-dependent activator of X chromosome inactivation
Cell 139(5):999-1011

Monkhorst K, de Hoon B, Jonkers I, Mulugeta Achame E, Monkhorst W, Hoogerbrugge J, Rentmeester E, Westerhoff HV, Grosveld F, Grootegoed JA, Gribnau J (2009)
The probability to initiate X chromosome inactivation is determined by the X to autosomal ratio and X chromosome specific allelic properties
PLoS One 4(5):e5616

Monkhorst, K., Jonkers, I., Rentmeester, E., Grosveld, F., and Gribnau, J. (2008)
X inactivation counting and choice is a stochastic process: evidence for involvement of an X-linked activator
Cell 132, 410-421

Wutz, A., and Gribnau, J. (2007)
X inactivation Xplained
Curr Opin Genet Dev 17, 387-393

J. Gribnau, Luikenhuis S, Hochedlinger K, Monkhorst K and R. Jaenisch. 2005
X chromosome choice occurs independently of asynchronous replication timing
J Cell Biol. 168:365-73

N. Geijsen, M. Horoschak, K. Kim, J. Gribnau, K. Eggan and G. Daley. 2004
Derivation of embryonic germ cells and male gametes from embryonic stem cells
Nature 427:148-54

J. Gribnau, K. Hata, K. Hochedlinger, E. Li and R. Jaenisch. 2003
Asynchronous replication timing of imprinted loci is independent of DNA methylation, but consistent with differential sub-nuclear localization
Genes & Development. 17:759-73

Research lines

X chromosome inactivation
In mammals, gene dosage of X chromosomal genes is equalized between sexes by inactivation of one of the two X chromosomes in female cells.

Epigenetic mechanisms in stem cells and disease
Methylated DNA-sequencing (MeD-seq)

Erasmus MC iPS core facility
The Erasmus MC iPS core facility was founded by the department of Developmental Biology in 2010

Meiotic and post-meiotic chromatin regulation
DNA double strand breaks, chromosome pairing, and transcriptional inactivation during meiotic prophase

Oncode Institute
Cancer research