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Mechanistic basis of nucleation and spreading underlying a Polycomb-mediated epigenetic switch

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EPISWITCH project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EPISWITCH project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EPISWITCH" about.

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Project "EPISWITCH" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: NR4 7UH

contact info
title: n.a.
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surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
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 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 2˙101˙325 €
 EC max contribution 2˙101˙325 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-09-01   to  2024-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    JOHN INNES CENTRE UK (NORWICH) coordinator 2˙101˙325.00


 Project objective

Polycomb-mediated epigenetic regulation of gene expression is central to development and environmental plasticity in most eukaryotes. Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) is targeted to genomic sites, known as nucleation regions or Polycomb Response elements, and switches those targets to an epigenetically silenced state. But what constitutes the switching mechanism is unknown. Core epigenetic switching mechanisms have proven difficult to elucidate due to the complex molecular feedbacks involved. We will exploit a well-characterized gene system, Arabidopsis FLC, to address a central question – what are the core events that constitute a Polycomb switch? Our hypothesis is that the epigenetic switch involves stochastic conformationally-induced oligomerization, generating an ordered protein assembly of PRC2 accessory proteins and PRC2, that is then robustly distributed onto both daughter strands during DNA replication through self-templating feedback mechanisms. We will determine the local chromatin features that promote the epigenetic switch independently at each allele (i.e., in cis). We will also dissect the involvement of DNA replication in the transition from metastable to long-term epigenetic silencing, associated with the Polycomb complex spreading across the body of the locus.

This interdisciplinary proposal combines molecular genetics/biology, computational biology, with structural biology, achieved through close working relationships with Prof. Martin Howard (John Innes Centre), Dr Mariann Bienz (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge) and Dr Julian Sale, (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge). This blue-sky programme aims to provide important new concepts in Polycomb-mediated epigenetic switching mechanisms, important for the whole epigenetics field.


List of deliverables.
Data Managaement Plan Open Research Data Pilot 2020-03-11 14:45:11

Take a look to the deliverables list in detail:  detailed list of EPISWITCH deliverables.

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The information about "EPISWITCH" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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