Molecular Genetics, Oncode Institute, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Jurgen Marteijn The central research focus of my lab is how cells cope with the severe consequences of transcription-blocking DNA damage. Using a combination of state-of-the-art live-cell imaging and advanced proteomic approaches, I study how DNA damage is repaired by Transcription-Coupled Repair (TCR). This approach resulted in the identification of UVSSA, a novel TCR factor, and uncovered several regulatory mechanisms of TCR. My lab showed that both chromatin remodeling and protein ubiquitylation play important roles in the repair of transcription-blocking lesions. Together this resulted in a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of the severe clinical consequences associated with TCR disorders. Interconnected to the TCR research, my lab studies the consequences of different types of DNA damage on RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) mediated transcription. This research line, at the crossroads of repair and transcription, revealed that the spliceosome is a key target of the DNA damage response and showed, using an in my lab developed endogenous expressed fluorescent-tagged Pol II cell line, that transcription-blocking DNA damage has unprecedented genome-wide effects on Pol II.