TransNetwork Project 3

Confined Migration-induced Changes in Chromatin Organizing and Gene Expression

Project Investigator: Jan Lammerding (Cornell University)

Collaborator: Vadim Backman (Northwestern University, Chicago PSOC)

The central hypothesis of this trans-network project is that nuclear deformation and/or nuclear envelope rupture can induce chromatin modifications and changes in chromatin organization, which can modulate expression of genes relevant to cancer progression. This project is enabled by the complementary expertise in the Lammerding (Cornell) and Backman (Northwestern) laboratories. The Lammerding lab has extensive experience studying the role of the nucleus in confined migration, using live cell imaging and custom-developed microfluidic devices that mimic interstitial spaces. The Backman lab has developed a new nanoimaging platform, which can interrogate spatio-temporal changes in chromatin packing and a computational platform that describes gene transcription in the context of realistic chromatin nanoenvironment (Multi-Scale Analysis, MSA). By combining these tools and experimental approaches, we can directly interrogate the effect of confined migration on chromatin packing and the regulation of gene expression.