Enzymatic deamination, oxidation and methylation of cytosine bases
The singular genome is responsible for a wealth of different cell types, each of which can respond and adapt to environmental cues. In part, these epigenetic differences are linked to DNA modification. These modifications center around cytosine, where DNA deamination (AID/APOBEC enzymes), oxidation (TET family enzymes) and methylation (DNMTs) can all interplay and tune the genome's potential. We are interested in the enzymatic activities of these cytosine modifying enzymes, particularly in the process of DNA demethylation which plays a role in embryogenesis, gene regulation and a potential pathological role in cancer.
Current areas of focus include harnessing DNA deaminases for localizing epigenetic base modifications, the development and application of activity-based probes for TET and AID/APOBEC family enzymes, and exploiting DNA modifying enzymes to edit the genome or epigenome.