Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Strome, Susan
Location University of California, Santa Cruz
Primary Field Cellular and Developmental Biology
Secondary Field Genetics
 Election Citation
Strome unraveled how metazoan germ cells establish and maintain their identity, immortality, and ability to generate offspring.
 Research Interests
Susan Strome and her research team investigate how cells in metazoans are instructed to develop as germ cells and how their germline fate is protected. Germ cells have a special mission, to produce gametes and entire new organisms generation after generation. Using C. elegans as a model, the Strome research group has established new paradigms for regulating specification and maintenance of germ cells. During embryogenesis, the chromatin regulators MES-4 and MES-2/MES-3/MES-6 (PRC2) epigenetically transmit a memory of germline from parental germ cells to germ cells in offspring. When this memory is compromised, the germ cells in offspring show germ-toward-soma transformations. When this memory is absent, the germ cells in offspring die. The MES proteins can promote germline development even of somatic cells, but another set of chromatin regulators including the DRM complex antagonizes germline fate in the soma. As germ cells develop, perinuclear ?germ granules? protect germline fate by antagonizing somatic fate. The Strome lab?s current research focus is on elucidating how chromatin regulators promote proper germ cell development, prevent germ-toward-soma transformations, and protect germline immortality.

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