All Publications

  • EvoChromo: towards a synthesis of chromatin biology and evolution. Development (Cambridge, England) Drinnenberg, I. A., Berger, F., Elsässer, S. J., Andersen, P. R., Ausió, J., Bickmore, W. A., Blackwell, A. R., Erwin, D. H., Gahan, J. M., Gaut, B. S., Harvey, Z. H., Henikoff, S., Kao, J. Y., Kurdistani, S. K., Lemos, B., Levine, M. T., Luger, K., Malik, H. S., Martín-Durán, J. M., Peichel, C. L., Renfree, M. B., Rutowicz, K., Sarkies, P., Schmitz, R. J., Technau, U., Thornton, J. W., Warnecke, T., Wolfe, K. H. 2019; 146 (19)


    Over the past few years, interest in chromatin and its evolution has grown. To further advance these interests, we organized a workshop with the support of The Company of Biologists to debate the current state of knowledge regarding the origin and evolution of chromatin. This workshop led to prospective views on the development of a new field of research that we term 'EvoChromo'. In this short Spotlight article, we define the breadth and expected impact of this new area of scientific inquiry on our understanding of both chromatin and evolution.

    View details for DOI 10.1242/dev.178962

    View details for PubMedID 31558570

  • Comparing apples and oranges: Identifying initiator peptides of non-amyloid prions Jakobson, C., Byers, J., Lozanoski, T., Harvey, Z., Futia, R., Sahai, S., Swift, M., Jarosz, D. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2018
  • Protein-Based Inheritance: Epigenetics beyond the Chromosome MOLECULAR CELL Harvey, Z. H., Chen, Y., Jarosz, D. F. 2018; 69 (2): 195–202


    Epigenetics refers to changes in phenotype that are not rooted in DNA sequence. This phenomenon has largely been studied in the context of chromatin modification. Yet many epigenetic traits are instead linked to self-perpetuating changes in the individual or collective activity of proteins. Most such proteins are prions (e.g., [PSI+], [URE3], [SWI+], [MOT3+], [MPH1+], [LSB+], and [GAR+]), which have the capacity to adopt at least one conformation that self-templates over long biological timescales. This allows them to serve as protein-based epigenetic elements that are readily broadcast through mitosis and meiosis. In some circumstances, self-templating can fuel disease, but it also permits access to multiple activity states from the same polypeptide and transmission of that information across generations. Ensuing phenotypic changes allow genetically identical cells to express diverse and frequently adaptive phenotypes. Although long thought to be rare, protein-based epigenetic inheritance has now been uncovered in all domains of life.

    View details for PubMedID 29153393

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5775936