Molecular and Cell Biology of the (Epi)genome

in Darmstadt

Our research´s goal is to elucidate the principles and functional consequences of the dynamic organization of the nucleus by understanding how factors are recruited to or excluded from their sites of action.

Replication, Translation and Reprogramming of the Epigenome:
We study, on the one hand, how the genome is duplicated at every cell cycle and how damage is repaired to maintain the genetic information, and, on the other hand, we study cellular differentiation and have developed new approaches for its reversal. We are currently investigating the role of methyl-cytosine binding proteins (MeCPs) in normal cellular differentiation and diseases like the Rett syndrome.

Last but not least we are interested in the organization of chromatin. It is unclear whether and how changes in the chromatin compaction state affect the mobility of chromatin organizing proteins and the access of proteins to chromatin.


Our methodological approaches include biochemistry, molecular biology, cell culture models and advanced light microscopy. In the course of our projects we have developed tools with special emphasis on live-cell microscopy applications. These tools allow the labeling of several different cellular structures in living cells as well as cell cycle progression in real time.


Easwaran, H. P., Schermelleh, L., Leonhardt, H. and Cardoso, M. C. (2004). Replication-independent chromatin loading of Dnmt1 during G2 and M phases. EMBO Rep. 5: 1181-1186.
Easwaran, H. P., Leonhardt, H. and Cardoso, M. C. (2005). Cell cycle markers for live cell analyses. Cell Cycle 4: 453-455.
Brero, A., Easwaran, H. P., Nowak, D., Grunewald, I., Cremer, T., Leonhardt, H. and Cardoso, M. C. (2005). Methyl CpG binding proteins induce large-scale chromatin reorganization during terminal differentiation. J. Cell Biol. 169: 733-743.



M. Cristina Cardoso, PhD
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Building B203 2nd floor
Schnittspahnstr. 10
64287 Darmstadt, Germany

Phone: +49-6151-162377
Fax: +49-6151-162375