John F. Marko Professor of Molecular Biosciences, Physics & Astronomy

Research Interests

Protein-DNA interactions, and chromosome structure and dynamics

Our group is focused on understanding the mechanisms of how the genomes of living things are organized, protected and maintained by protein-DNA interactions. A good deal of the lab's work uses biophysical methods, with particular emphasis on micromanipulation of single DNA molecules and single chromosomes. Recent projects in the lab have included studies of the internal structure of eukaryote mitotic chromosomes, single-DNA studies of DNA-folding proteins from bacteria, studies of DNA topoisomerases, and studies of the dynamics of self-organization of chromatin using Xenopus egg extracts. The lab also carries out theoretical modeling work related to these experimental studies. Future directions for the lab include combining fluorescence microscopy and force microscopy in experiments on DNA-protein complexes and whole chromosomes, and in vivo studies of coupling of chromosome dynamics to gene expression.

Selected Publications

Chromatin and lamin A determine two different mechanical response regimes of the cell nucleus. Stephens AD, Banigan EJ, Adam SA, Goldman RD, and Marko JF. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2017 July 7;28(14):1984-1996.

An orthogonal single-molecule experiment reveals multiple-attempt dynamics of type IA topoisomerasesGunn KH, Marko JF, and Mondragón A. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 2017 May;24(5):484-490.

Facilitated dissociation of transcription factors from single DNA binding sites. Kamar RI, Banigan EJ, Erbas A, Giuntoli RD, Olvera de la Cruz M, Johnson RC, and Marko JF. PNAS. 2017 April 18;114(16):E3251-E3257.

Facilitated Dissociation of a Nucleoid Protein from the Bacterial Chromosome. Hadizadeh N, Johnson RC, and Marko JF. Journal of Bacteriology. 2016 June;198(12):1735-1742.

Compaction and segregation of sister chromatids via active loop extrusion. Goloborodko A, Imakaev MV, Marko JF, and Mirny L. eLife. 2016 May 18;5:e14864.

View all publications by John F. Marko listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.