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Chromatin, the repeating unit of DNA-histone protein called nucleosome, is the physiological template of our genome. Histones are the chief protein component of chromatin and act as spools around which DNA winds. Chromatin remodelling due to post-translational histone modifications, incorporation of histone variants and ATP-dependent modelling regulate diverse cellular functions including transcriptional regulation, cell cycle and DNA damage responses with extensive consequences for human biology and diseases, particularly cancer. A major research interest in our lab is to understand the histone alterations that take place during different stages of development, cellular transformation, cancer and DNA repair per se. Current goals of the lab:
(1) how cell cycle specific alteration in histones affects their role in DNA damage response;
(2) clinical significance of alteration in covalent modification of histones in human cancers; 
(3) transcriptional regulation of histone variants, variant-specific PTMs and their binding partners during carcinogenesis;
(4) how structure and function of chromatin fibre is altered with the replacement of canonical histones by histone variants; and
(5) Finally, the question is how to translate this information into diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the better management of cancer.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Ph.D.

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