Chromatin organization and gene expression are interdependent. Previously, our group had showed that nucleosomes form groups, termed clutches, whose size correlates with cell state. 

In this paper, Alvaro, together with Jason Otterstrom, carried out 2-color super-resolution microscopy to image core histones and DNA at nanoscale resolution.

They identified the “clutch DNA” as the DNA whose compaction is dependent on the clutch. Moreover, they studied how the epigenetic state of the clutch alters the radius of the clutch DNA.

These results provide novel insights into chromatin organization at the nanoscale level and show how the clutches affect DNA packaging.


 Castells-Garcia et al. 2019 Nucleic Acids Research

Happy to be interviewed in the blog Research in Barcelona and be able to share my views on my work and on research in general. You can read the interview here

Martina, Ruben and Pia discuss in this State-of-the-Art Review of The FEBS Journal the latest advances and applications of in vivo reprogramming strategies for regenerative medicine with a special focus on dedifferentiation, transdifferentiation and cell fusion processes. Cover of The FEBS Journal

Scientific collaboration between GIBH and CRG: 2 Postdoctoral Positions to study stem cell physiology and somatic cell reprogramming at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China

In GenStorm our goal is to combine high resolution microscopy with molecular modeling techniques. With this multidisciplinary approach we aim to understand how genes are organized within the cell nucleus and how this affects their function. The project is coordinated by Victoria Neguembor (Cosma lab at CRG) and Pablo Dans (Orozco lab at IRBB).


BIST awards three multidisciplinary projects for the Ignite Program’s second phase

Our work on PoSTAC (Polycistronic SunTAg modified CRISPR) has been published in Nucleic Acids Research.

PoSTAC is a gene visualisation tool that combines CRISPR/dCas9 with SunTag labeling and polycistronic vectors. PoSTAC enables live cell and super-resolution imaging of multiple genes with high spatiotemporal resolution and high sensitivity.



Neguembor et al. 2017 Nucleic Acids Research 

Ilda showed that the Paternally Expressed Gene-3 (PEG 3) is a novel regulator of somatic cell reprogramming. Peg 3 enhances cell reprogramming by acting on cell metabolism.

Theka et al. Scientific Reports 2017 Aug 29;7(1):9705.


Ruben Sebastian Perez, a master student in our lab, has got the second place in the “Tell it to your parents” contest  organized by Sociedad Española de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular (SEBBM).

Master students and bachelor students had to make videos for the general audience, in which they explain different Research concepts in the simplest way possible.

Below you can get a link to Ruben’s video : “A decade of iPS cells”

Until now hepatocyte replication has been considered the main mechanism of liver regeneration after hepatectomy in mammals. We recently found that bone marrow cells can migrate into the liver upon resection and fuse with the hepatocytes. The derived hybrids proliferate and are essential for efficient liver regeneration, which is also predicted by mathematical modelling. 

Pedone et al. Cell Reports. 2017 Jan 3;18(1):107-121.


How do cells interact with other cells? We discovered that mouse mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can either fuse and form heterokaryons (cells with 2 nuclei) with mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or can be invaded by ESCs through the entotic process (when one cell enters into another cell). Upon entosis the nucleus of the ESCs is degraded, while heterokaryons convert into synkaryons (cells with one nucleus containing both parental chromosomes) through cell division. These mechanisms are controlled by the activity of cytoskeleton components. Overall these are two profoundly different outcomes of cell-to-cell interactions, which might be important for different biological processes.

Sottile F. et al., Scientific Reports 2016 Nov 9;6:36863.


Heterokaryon to Synkaryon Transition – MOVIE

Heterokaryon to Synkaryon Transition – MOVIE 2