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Johanna Luige: KDM5 enzymes have a dual function in chromatin and RNA binding

PhD defence, Friday 6 May 2022. Johanna Luige.

Johanne Luige

During her PhD studies, Johanna Luige researched chromatin modifying enzymes KDM5A and KDM5B, responsible for regulating developmental and cancer-associated gene expression programs. Chromatin is the protective bundle of DNA and histones, which can be chemically modified by enzymes like KDM5A/B leading to the accessibility of DNA for transcription. Johanna Luige studied how these enzymes can interact with RNA, suggesting a whole new function in establishing global gene expression. Dissecting the well-known chromatin function and the discovered RNA-binding can lead to a new avenue in therapeutic strategies for cancer.

These findings contribute to the understanding of KDM5 enzymes as global regulators of gene expression, and highlight an alternative way of modulating their activity in human cancers.

The PhD study was completed at Molecular Biology and Genetics department, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 6 May 2022 at 12:00
Place: Building 1870, Room 816, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University. Universitetsbyen 81, 8000 Aarhus C.
Title of PhD thesis: RNA-binding by KDM5 lysine demethylases

Contact information: Johanna Luige, e-mail: jo.lu@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +45 91970260

Members of the assessment committee:

  • Professor Michael Lisby, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Group Leader Benedikt Beckmann, IRI Life Sciences, Humboldt University, Germany
  • Professor Finn Skou Pedersen (chairman), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Danmark

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Ulf Andersson Vang Ørom, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public. The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS, Katrinebjergvej 89F, building 5132, 8200 Aarhus N.