Research Group "DNA Replication and Genome Integrity" (Boris Pfander)
All cells copy their DNA in the process of DNA replication in order to distribute the same genetic information to mother and daughter cell during cell division. DNA replication needs to be very accurate and requires a precisely orchestrated sequence, since errors can result in mutations of the genetic information and therefore cause cancer or other severe diseases. Boris Pfander and his Research Group “DNA Replication and Genome Integrity” investigate how the cell ensures the required precision and prevents errors. Therefore the scientists combine classical yeast genetics with modern proteome- and genome-wide methodology. The figure shows the result of a growth assay using different yeast strains on a culture plate with and without a DNA-damaging agent (normal growth: yellow; reduced growth: red). A particular focus of the group is to analyze how DNA replication proceeds in the presence of DNA damage and how it is linked to DNA repair. Of particular importance is the so-called “checkpoint”, which recognizes DNA damage, stops DNA replication and upregulates DNA repair.