EPIGENETICS AND GENE EXPRESSION
José Carlos Reyes. I got a doctorate in Biological Sciences from the University of Seville in 1994. Then, I did a 3.5 year postdoctoral stay at the Pasteur Institute, in Paris, where I conducted studies of chromatin remodeling and epigenetics in mammals in Moshe Yaniv’s laboratory. After a stay as visiting professor in the laboratory of Gordon Hager (National Institute of Health of Bethesda, USA), in 2000 I got a position of Senior Scientist at CSIC. In 2002 I received the Young Researcher Award from the Seville Academy of Sciences. I has been Deputy Director of the Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis of CSIC in Seville and of the Andalusian Center for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (CABIMER), also in Seville. I am currently a researcher at CSIC, head of the «Epigenetics and Gene Expression Group» and Director of the Department of Genome Biology at CABIMER. I have published more than 75 articles on various topics always related to gene expression and epigenetics. Currently my group combines genetic, biochemical and computational methods to elucidate how the chromatin of regulatory elements and genes changes during the transcription process, how these changes are regulated and inherited, and what protein factors carry them out. We also investigate how the alteration of these molecular mechanisms causes certain diseases such as cancer.
The main goal of our group is to understand how chromatin of regulatory elements and gene bodies change during transcription, how these changes are regulated and inherited through epigenetic mechanisms and what protein factors are responsible for them. We specially investigate how alteration of these chromatin mechanisms are implicated in human disease.
In recent years we have essentially worked on four lines of research:
- Functions of chromatin remodeling complexes, specifically the SWI/SNF complex (Sci Rep 2018, PMID:29391527) and the CHD8 complex (NAR 2018, PMID: 29438503; PLoS Genet 2015, PMID:25894978). Both machineries are implicated in both cancer and neurodevelopmental diseases, especially autism.
- The processes of cellular plasticity responsible for the transition from epithelium to mesenchyme (EMT) are essential both during the development and during the formation of secondary tumors (metastasis). Furthermore, they constitute situations where a drastic reorganization of expression patterns and epigenetic marks takes place. TGF is a growth factor that triggers EMT in a multitude of epithelial cell types. We have recently mapped enhancers regulated by TGF we have shown that TGF causes massive chromatin opening in most enhancers and that genes regulated by TGF are often found forming domains that we have called TRD (TGF regulatory domains) (Nature Comm, 2020, PMID: 33273453).
- We also work on the identification and characterization of new chromatin factors involved in EMT, cancer and cell differentiation. We have recently characterized the role of TBL1 (Cell Death Dis 2019. PMID:29515758), HMG20A (Cell Death Dis 2018, PMID:29449530; Theranostics 2021, PMID: 34093866), TDRD9 (Oncotarget 2017, PMID: 29515758) and the prefoldins in collaboration with the Group of Sebastian Chavez (Cancers 2020, PMID: 32344577; NAR 2021, PMID: 34096575).
- Finally, we have also investigated the role of chromatin in RNAPII transcription elongation and its consequences in splicing and mRNA processing (NAR 2015, PMID: 25735750; PNAS 2015, PMID: 26578803).