Professional Education

  • Doctor of Science, Philipps-Universitat Marburg/Lahn (2018)
  • Diploma, University Of Zagreb (2012)

Stanford Advisors

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Distinct CoREST complexes act in a cell-type-specific manner. Nucleic acids research Mačinković, I., Theofel, I., Hundertmark, T., Kovač, K., Awe, S., Lenz, J., Forné, I., Lamp, B., Nist, A., Imhof, A., Stiewe, T., Renkawitz-Pohl, R., Rathke, C., Brehm, A. 2019; 47 (22): 11649–66


    CoREST has been identified as a subunit of several protein complexes that generate transcriptionally repressive chromatin structures during development. However, a comprehensive analysis of the CoREST interactome has not been carried out. We use proteomic approaches to define the interactomes of two dCoREST isoforms, dCoREST-L and dCoREST-M, in Drosophila. We identify three distinct histone deacetylase complexes built around a common dCoREST/dRPD3 core: A dLSD1/dCoREST complex, the LINT complex and a dG9a/dCoREST complex. The latter two complexes can incorporate both dCoREST isoforms. By contrast, the dLSD1/dCoREST complex exclusively assembles with the dCoREST-L isoform. Genome-wide studies show that the three dCoREST complexes associate with chromatin predominantly at promoters. Transcriptome analyses in S2 cells and testes reveal that different cell lineages utilize distinct dCoREST complexes to maintain cell-type-specific gene expression programmes: In macrophage-like S2 cells, LINT represses germ line-related genes whereas other dCoREST complexes are largely dispensable. By contrast, in testes, the dLSD1/dCoREST complex prevents transcription of germ line-inappropriate genes and is essential for spermatogenesis and fertility, whereas depletion of other dCoREST complexes has no effect. Our study uncovers three distinct dCoREST complexes that function in a lineage-restricted fashion to repress specific sets of genes thereby maintaining cell-type-specific gene expression programmes.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/nar/gkz1050

    View details for PubMedID 31701127

  • Tumour-associated missense mutations in the dMi-2 ATPase alters nucleosome remodelling properties in a mutation-specific manner. Nature communications Kovač, K., Sauer, A., Mačinković, I., Awe, S., Finkernagel, F., Hoffmeister, H., Fuchs, A., Müller, R., Rathke, C., Längst, G., Brehm, A. 2018; 9 (1): 2112


    ATP-dependent chromatin remodellers are mutated in more than 20% of human cancers. The consequences of these mutations on enzyme function are poorly understood. Here, we characterise the effects of CHD4 mutations identified in endometrial carcinoma on the remodelling properties of dMi-2, the highly conserved Drosophila homologue of CHD4. Mutations from different patients have surprisingly diverse defects on nucleosome binding, ATPase activity and nucleosome remodelling. Unexpectedly, we identify both mutations that decrease and increase the enzyme activity. Our results define the chromodomains and a novel regulatory region as essential for nucleosome remodelling. Genetic experiments in Drosophila demonstrate that expression of cancer-derived dMi-2 mutants misregulates differentiation of epithelial wing structures and produces phenotypes that correlate with their nucleosome remodelling properties. Our results help to define the defects of CHD4 in cancer at the mechanistic level and provide the basis for the development of molecular approaches aimed at restoring their activity.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-04503-2

    View details for PubMedID 29844320

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5974244

  • EcR recruits dMi-2 and increases efficiency of dMi-2-mediated remodelling to constrain transcription of hormone-regulated genes. Nature communications Kreher, J., Kovač, K., Bouazoune, K., Mačinković, I., Ernst, A. L., Engelen, E., Pahl, R., Finkernagel, F., Murawska, M., Ullah, I., Brehm, A. 2017; 8: 14806


    Gene regulation by steroid hormones plays important roles in health and disease. In Drosophila, the hormone ecdysone governs transitions between key developmental stages. Ecdysone-regulated genes are bound by a heterodimer of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and Ultraspiracle. According to the bimodal switch model, steroid hormone receptors recruit corepressors in the absence of hormone and coactivators in its presence. Here we show that the nucleosome remodeller dMi-2 is recruited to ecdysone-regulated genes to limit transcription. Contrary to the prevalent model, recruitment of the dMi-2 corepressor increases upon hormone addition to constrain gene activation through chromatin remodelling. Furthermore, EcR and dMi-2 form a complex that is devoid of Ultraspiracle. Unexpectedly, EcR contacts the dMi-2 ATPase domain and increases the efficiency of dMi-2-mediated nucleosome remodelling. This study identifies a non-canonical EcR-corepressor complex with the potential for a direct regulation of ATP-dependent nucleosome remodelling by a nuclear hormone receptor.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms14806

    View details for PubMedID 28378812

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5382322