During animal cell division the nucleus undergoes remarkable structural and functional changes. The nuclear envelope, constituting a diffusion barrier between cytoplasm and the nuclear interior in interphase, and the embedded nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) disassemble and the chromatin compacts into chromosomes which are segregated by the mitotic spindle. Little is known about how at the end of mitosis the nucleus re-enters a transcription and replication competent interphase state. This requires chromatin decondensation, reorganization and reassembly of the nuclear membranes and NPC reformation. We use cell free assays that recapitulate these processes to dissect their molecular mechanisms. We are especially interested in elucidating how the nuclear envelope reforms around the chromatin and how NPCs integrate into the nuclear envelope. We identify and characterize the cellular factors mediating chromatin decondensation and study how chromatin decondensation and nuclear envelope reformation are regulated and coordinated.
from the left: Micha, Ruchika, Cathrin, Katharina, Conny, Allana, Ben, Nathalie, Wolfram