Dr Owen Davies
Wellcome Trust and Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7371
- Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 7424
- Personal Website: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/celldivisionbiology
- Address: Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Tyne and Wear,
The molecular basis of mammalian meiosis
The structure and function of the human synaptonemal complex
Our research aims to uncover the molecular basis of mammalian meiosis, with a particular focus on meiotic chromosome structure and the mechanistic basis of meiotic recombination and crossover formation. In the first meiotic division, homologous chromosome pairs are held together in synapsis by a 'zipper'-like protein assembly, the synaptonemal complex (SC). The three-dimensional architecture of the SC imposes a unique structure upon meiotic chromosomes and also provides the physical framework for meiotic recombination and crossover formation. These processes are achieved through homologous recombination-mediated DNA double-strand break repair pathways, are entirely dependent on the correct assembly of the SC, and are essential for fertility and prevention of aneuploidy. We aim to elucidate the molecular structure of the human SC, its interaction with chromosomal DNA, and how it interacts with DNA repair factors to achieve recombination and crossover formation.
We adopt a biochemical and structural biology approach to tackling this challenging and fundamental problem of cellular function. Our primary research techniques are biochemistry, biophysics (including SEC-MALS and electron microscopy) and X-crystallography, which we use to study recombinantly produced components and multi-component assemblies of the human SC.
Ultimately, we aim to define the molecular structure and function of the synaptonemal complex in meiosis, the mechanisms that control its dynamic assembly and disassembly in meiotic cells, and how its defective formation leads to human infertility and recurrent miscarriage. This knowledge will be essential in developing new diagnostic tools for determining the molecular basis of infertility and miscarriage, and may further lead to the development of new assisted reproduction technologies directed towards conditions for which there are currently no treatment options.
Davies OR, Forment JV, Sun M, Belotserkovskaya R, Coates J, Galanty Y, Demir M, Morton CR, Rzechorzek NJ, Jackson SP, Pellegrini L. CtIP tetramer assembly is required for DNA-end resection and repair. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 2015, 22, 150-157
Current Lab Members:
Mumen Chowdhury (MRes student)
James Dunce (Research Assistant and PhD student)
Orla Dunne (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Jessica Hall (MRes student)
Jack Hughes (MSci student)
Gurusaran Manickam (PhD student)
Urszula McClurg (Faculty Research Fellow)
Lucy Salmon (PhD student)
Lee Sen (MRes student)
Natalija Stepurko (Lab assistant)
Vincentius Aji Jatikusumo (Undergraduate student - 2015)
Katie Boothby (MSci student - 2015-2016)
Matthew Ratcliff (MRes student and Research Assistant - 2015-2016)
Chandni Ravindan (MRes student and Research Assistant - 2016-2017)
PhD Positions Available
PhD studentship in Biochemistry and Structural Biology – The Molecular Structure of Meiotic Chromosome.
Application deadline 5th April 2017. For more details and to apply please follow this link.
- Gomez L, Felipe-Medina N, Sanchez-Martin M, Davies OR, Ramos I, Garcia-Tunon I, de Rooij DG, Dereli I, Toth A, Barbero JL, Benavente R, Llano E, Pendas AM. C14ORF39/SIX6OS1 is a constituent of the synaptonemal complex and is essential for mouse fertility. Nature Communications 2016, 7, 13298.
- Carroll B, Maetzel D, Maddocks ODK, Otten G, Ratcliff M, Smith GR, Dunlop EA, Passos JF, Davies OR, Jaenisch R, Tee AR, Sarkar S, Korolchuk VI. Control of TSC2-Rheb signaling axis by arginine regulates mTORC1 activity. eLIFE 2016, 5, e11058.
- Davies OR, Forment JV, Sun M, Belotserkovskaya R, Coates J, Galanty Y, Demir M, Morton CR, Rzechorzek NJ, Jackson SP, Pellegrini L. CtIP tetramer assembly is required for DNA-end resection and repair. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 2015, 22, 150-157.
- Syrjänen JL, Pellegrini L, Davies OR. A molecular model for the role of SYCP3 in meiotic chromosome organisation. eLife 2014, 3, e02963.
- Davies OR, Lin C-Y, Radzisheuskaya A, Zhou X, Taube J, Blin G, Waterhouse A, Smith AJH, Lowell S. Tcf15 Primes Pluripotent Cells for Differentiation. Cell Reports 2013, 3(2), 472-484.
- Davies OR, Maman JD, Pellegrini L. Structural analysis of the SYCE2-TEX12 complex provides molecular insights into synaptonemal complex assembly. Open Biology 2012, 2(7), 120099.
- D'Arcy S, Davies OR, Blundell TL, Bolanos-Garcia VM. Defining the molecular basis of BubR1 kinetochore recruitment and APC/C-Cdc20 inhibition. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2010, 285(19), 14764-14776.
- Li Y, Chirgadze DY, Bolanos-Garcia VM, Sibanda BL, Davies OR, Ahnesorg P, Jackson SP, Blundell TL. Crystal structure of human XLF/Cernunnos reveals unexpected differences from XRCC4 with implications for NHEJ. EMBO Journal 2008, 27(1), 290-300.
- Davies OR, Pellegrini L. Interaction with the BRCA2 C terminus protects RAD51-DNA filaments from disassembly by BRC repeats. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 2007, 14(6), 475-483.
- Shivji MKK, Davies OR, Savill JM, Bates DL, Pellegrini L, Venkitaraman AR. A region of human BRCA2 containing multiple BRC repeats promotes RAD51-mediated strand exchange. Nucleic Acids Research 2006, 34(14), 4000-4011.
- Doré AS, Furnham N, Davies OR, Sibanda BL, Chirgadze DY, Jackson SP, Pellegrini L, Blundell TL. Structure of an Xrcc4–DNA ligase IV yeast ortholog complex reveals a novel BRCT interaction mode. DNA Repair 2006, 5(3), 362-368.
- Bolanos-Garcia VM, Davies OR. Structural analysis and classification of native proteins from E. coli commonly co-purified by immobilised metal affinity chromatography. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2006, 1760(9), 1304-1313.
- Blundell TL, Davies OR, Chirgadze D, Furnham N, Pellegrini L, Sibanda BL. Multiprotein Systems As Targets for Drug Discovery: Opportunities and Challenges. Beilstein-Institut 2006.
- Blundell TL, Sibanda BL, Montalvao RW, Brewerton S, Chelliah V, Worth CL, Harmer NJ, Davies OR, Burke D. Structural biology and bioinformatics in drug design: opportunities and challenges for target identification and lead discovery. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2006, 361(1467), 413-23.
- Syrjanen JL, Heller I, Candelli A, Davies OR, Peterman EJG, Wuite GJL, Pellegrini L. Single-Molecule observation of DNA compaction by meiotic protein SYCP3. eLife 2017, 6, e22582.