Charlotte’s PhD focussed on the Smc5/6 Complex and Cohesion during the cell cycle in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
The process of cohesion generation and loss is common to all eukaryotic life. Without it, DNA would become lost, damaged and unimaginabley tangled.
Following the genesis of the sister chromatids via replication in S-phase, it is important that the sisters be held together physically. This happens in two ways; via DNA intertwines and via cohesion. Cohesin is a large protein complex that forms a ring shape, and physically embraces the sister chromatids and holds them together for the rest of the cell cycle following replication, a process known as cohesion. This enables the sister chromatids to maintain their identity (stopping them from getting lost) and also means that a homologous sequence is readily available should DNA damage occur (preventing irrepairable DNA damage).
When the cell is ready to segregate its chromosomes during mitosis, the cohesion is cut away from the DNA via separase, allowing the chromatids to be pulled apart and sequentially put in separate daughter cells.
Charlotte’s research connected this process of cohesion to another protein complex thought to be primarily involved in DNA damage repair, the Smc5/6 complex. Her research discovered a novel mechanism of cohesion generation regulation. This research is relevant for our understanding of the fundamental science of epigenetics, but also to our understanding of conditions such as Down’s Syndrome and diseases such as cancer.
Fu, J., Lipinszki, Z., Rangone, H., Min, M., Mykura, C., Chao-Chu, J., … Glover, D. M. (2016). Conserved molecular interactions in centriole-to-centrosome conversion. Nat Cell Biol, 18(1), 87–99
Eschen, R., Hunt, S., Mykura, C., Gange, A. C., & Sutton, B. C. (2010). The foliar endophytic fungal community composition in Cirsium arvense is affected by mycorrhizal colonization and soil nutrient content. Fungal Biology, 114(11-12), 991–998