Principal Investigator – Junior Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing
Dr. Ivan Matic
The team led by Dr. Ivan Matic is investigates how the ADP-ribosylation of chromatin components functions in DNA repair mechanisms. The aim is to establish a comprehensive profile of these modifications, in order to gain in-depth understanding of molecular aspects in the repair of DNA.
Our research: ADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification, in which ADP-ribose is coupled to proteins. It is a key mechanism of DNA repair. Specific enzymes, called PARPs, catalyze the ADP-ribosylation of major chromatin components, e.g. histones, creating an environment in which damaged DNA can be repaired. The research group is applying advanced proteomics to determine the molecular mechanisms by which ADP-ribosylation enables DNA repair.
Our successes: Dr. Matic and his team have pioneered the in vivo detection of ADP-ribosylated peptides. They have discovered modifications on amino acids, which had never previously been associated with PARP activity.
Our goals: The research group wants to establish a comprehensive profile of ADP-ribosylation in the context of DNA repair. The scientists are concentrating on the role of chromatin ADP-ribosylation in the DNA damage response. The research program of Dr. Matic’s team has the long-term potential to establish a basis for the improved treatment of cancer, a common age-related disease.
Our methods/techniques: The Matic laboratory benefits from state-of-the-art proteomics equipment, including UHPLC and Q Exactive Plus, an Orbitrap mass spectrometer. In addition, the team uses experimental techniques to prepare and enrich specific protein populations for mass spectrometry analysis.
Figure 1: Overview of the experimental workflow
Figure 2: Fragmentation spectra of a modified peptide from SERPINA3K. Figure from Ivan Matic, Ivan Ahel & Ronald T. Hay Nature Methods. August 2012