Professional Education

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

Stanford Advisors

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • 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