Fischle, Wolfgang, Dr.

Group Leader at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry

  • 2001 Dr. rer. nat. (PhD), University of Tübingen, Germany
  • 1997 – 2001 Graduate Research Fellow, The J. David Gladstone Institute (UCSF), San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 2001 – 2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA
  • 2002 – 2005 Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow
  • since 2006 Independent Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
  • since 2015 Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology, KAUST, Thuwal, KSA

Major Research Interests

To sustain life in different environments cells and organisms must adjust to different conditions and external cues. In contrast to immediate and mostly transient responses to short-term stimuli, processes of long-term adaptation require lasting changes in gene expression patterns. Such epigenetic changes are controlled on the level of chromatin, the packaging form of eukaryotic genomes. Here, different DNA and histone modifications are associated with distinct functional states of chromatin.

Overall, our research aims to gain detailed, fundamental understanding of the processes that read and translate patterns of chromatin marks for mediating biological outcomes. Currently, we are tackling two main questions. A) How do histone modifications in conjunction with DNA methylation establish seemingly stable chromatin structures in response to internal and external cues? B) How do small cellular metabolites and signaling molecules tune the readout of chromatin marks? To address these problems we are constantly expanding our highly interdisciplinary approaches. These include advancing technologies for establishing and analyzing complex chromatin systems in vitro (biochemistry and biophysics), molecular and cellular biology for studying essential chromatin components and global analysis of modules of epigenetic regulation.

We strongly believe that by understanding the essential molecular control mechanisms of chromatin regulation we will ultimately be able to develop strategies for intervention of major diseases.

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Stützer A, Liokatis S, Kiesel A, Schwarzer D, Sprangers R, Söding J, Selenko P, Fischle W (2016) Modulations of DNA contacts by linker histoens and post-translational modifications determine the mobility and modifiability of nucleosomal H3 tails. Mol. Cell 61:247-259

  • Hiragami-Hamada K, Soeroes S, Nikolov M, Wilkins B, Kreu, S, Chen C, De La Rosa-Velázquez IA, Zenn HM, Kost N, Pohl W, Chernev A, Schwarzer D, Jenuwein T, Lorincz M, Zimmermann B, Walla PJ, Neumann H, Baubec T,Urlaub H, Fischle W (2015) Dynamic and flexible bridging of H3K9me3 via HP1β-dimerization establishes a plastic state of condensed chromatin. Nat. Comm. 7: 11310

  • Kost N, Kaiser S, Ostwal Y, Riedel D, Stützer A, Nikolov M, Rathke C, Renkawitz-Pohl R, Fischle W (2015) Multimerization of Drosophila sperm protein Mst77Fcauses a unique condensed chromatin structure. Nucleic Acids Res. 43:3033-3044

  • Gelato KG, Tauber M, Ong M, Winter S, Hiragami-Hamada K, Sindlinger J, Lemak A, Bultsma Y, Houliston S, Schwarzer D, Divecha N, Arrowsmith CH, Fischle W (2014) Interaction of UHRF1 with the unmodified or lysine 9 trimethylated H3 tail is allosterically regulated by phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate. Mol. Cell, 54:905-919

  • Wilkins BJ, Rall NA, Ostwal Y, Kruitwagen T, Hiragami-Hamada K, Winkler M, Barral Y, Fischle W, Neumann H (2014) A cascade of histone modifications induces chromatin condensation in mitosis. Science 343:77-80

  • Shema-Yaacoby E, Nikolov M, Haj-Yahya M, Siman P, Allemand E, Yamaguchi Y, Muchardt C, Urlaub H, Brik A, Oren M, Fischle W (2013) Systematic identification of proteins binding to chromatin-embedded ubiquitylated H2B reveals recruitment of SWI/SNF to regulate transcription. Cell Rep. 4:601-608