Understanding how cells produce their tremendous adaptivity and variety from their genetic information, often abbreviated by the phrase ’genotype-to-phenotype’, is an essential effort through which we can comprehend the huge variety of processes that take place within the cell.
The central dogma of molecular biology acts as a backbone to this effort, describing the set of molecular reactions enabling the transfer of sequence information between DNA, RNA and proteins. Pivotal to this information transfer is gene expression, that articulates the transition from the seemingly static DNA molecule to the more dynamic RNA and protein molecules, that effectively enable cellular function.
Our understanding of biological systems and in particular of the central dogma, dramatically improved with the coming of age of a variety of high-throughput technolgies collectively coined omics techniques. The comprehensive nature of omics techniques enabled researchers to effectively probe the extent of the cell-wide coordination orchestrated by the central dogma.
In this thesis we will further expand the biological context of the central dogma by examining cell features upstream and downstream of it, namely DNA structure and the cell’s molecular content. To this end we will leverage recently developped omics technologies targeting DNA conformation (Hi-C) and the cell’s molecular content (Raman spectroscopy). More specifically, we will introduce original analytical frameworks aiming to effectively explore the influence of DNA conformation and the cell’s molecular content on gene expression.