In this episode of the Epigenetics Podcast, we caught up with Dr. Srinivas Ramachandran, Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, to talk about his work on ​in vivo nucleosome structure and dynamics.

Dr. Srinivas Ramachandran studies the structure and dynamics of nucleosomes during cellular processes like transcription and DNA replication. During transcription, as the RNA polymerase transcribes along the DNA, it needs to pass nucleosomes. Dr. Ramachandran investigated the effect of nucleosomes on transcription and also studied how different histone variants affect this process. He found that the first nucleosome within a gene body is a barrier for the progression of RNA polymerase, and that presence of the histone variant H2A.Z in this first nucleosome lowers this barrier.

Furthermore, Dr. Ramachandran developed a method called mapping in vivo nascent chromatin using EdU and sequencing (MINCE-Seq), enabling the study of chromatin landscapes right after DNA replication. In MINCE-Seq, newly replicated DNA is labeled right after the replication fork has passed by with the nucleotide analog ethynyl deoxyuridine (EdU), which can then be coupled with biotin using click chemistry. After the purification of newly replicated DNA and MNase digestion, the chromatin landscape can be analyzed.

In this interview, we discuss the story behind how Dr. Ramachandran found his way into chromatin research, what it was like to start a wet lab postdoc with a bioinformatics background, and what he is working on now to unravel nucleosomal structure and dynamics in his own lab.

 

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