The focus of research of my group is to understand the molecular basis of chromosome organization and explore its relation with important chromosomal processes. These include transcription, recombination and repair, maintenance of genomic integrity and the accurate inheritance of chromosomes during cell division. We utilize a multifaceted approach including molecular, genetic, cytological and biochemical tools to investigate these processes in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an excellent model system for such studies. Since several aspects of chromosome organization and its regulation are conserved, we plan to extend our findings in yeast to human cell lines, as a step towards exploring the relevance of these findings in understanding human diseases involving chromosomal abnormalities. Current projects in the lab include: (1) Determinants of chromosome architecture and genomic integrity - Our current interest is directed toward understanding the regulation of chromatin association of Smc protein complexes and its relevance in maintaining chromosomal functions and preserving genomic integrity. (2) Determinants of Euchromatin (transcriptionally active chromatin) - We have recently identified new silencing barrier sequences in budding yeast that limit the spread of heterochromatin (transcriptionally repressed chromatin). We are interested in investigating the mechanism and requirements for the barrier activity of these sequences. (3) Ubiquitin E3 ligases - We are interested in identifying and characterizing functional domains and cellular targets of E3 ligase enzymes, with emphasis on those involved in cell cycle regulation and chromosome organization and function.