Karpen, G

Erhardt, S
Mellone, B
Heun, P

Acevedo, D
Belfiore, P
Kennedy, C
Weiss, S

Eckerle, M
Peng, J

Freeman, K
Kim, J

Robinson, L


The Karpen Lab researches four areas related to chromosome structure and function in higher eukaryotes: 1) centromeric chromatin structure and propagation, 2) regulation of nuclear organization, 3) genomic analysis of heterochromatin (the Drosophila Heterochromatin Genome Project, DHGP), and 4) high throughput assays for identifying environmental agents that cause chromosome loss.


We are using a combination of genetic, genomic, biochemical and cell biological approaches to address these fundamental questions. The fly Drosophila melanogaster is our primary experimental system, but we are also exploring the relevance of our findings to other organisms, including humans. Defects in normal chromosome inheritance are involved in the etiology of cancer and birth defects, and increased knowledge of chromosomal mechanisms and molecules are likely to lead to tools for the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.


Blower, M.D. and Karpen, G.H. (2001)
Nature Cell Biology 3, 730-739.

Gary Karpen
Senior Scientist/
Life Sciences Division

Adjunct Professor/ Molecular & Cell Biology, UC Berkeley

One Cyclotron Rd.
Mailstop: 84-171
Berkeley, CA 94720
tel: (510)486-5034
fax: (510)486-5625



Karpen Laboratory Information

Selected Publications

Hari, K. L., Cook, K. R., Karpen, G. H. (2001). The Drosophila Su(var)2-10 locus regulates chromosome structure and function and encodes a member of the PIAS protein family. Genes and Development 15, 1334-48.

Blower, M.D. and Karpen, G.H. (2001). The role of Drosophila CENP-A / CID in kinetochore formation, cell-cycle progression and interactions with heterochromatin. Nature Cell Biology 3, 730-9.

Blower, M.D., Sullivan, B.A., and Karpen, G.H. (2002). Conserved organization of centromeric chromatin in flies and humans. Developmental Cell 2, 319-330.

Hoskins, R.A., Smith, C.D., et al. (2002). Heterochromatic sequences in a Drosophila whole genome shotgun assembly. Genome Biology 3(12), research0085.1–16.

Sun, X. Le, H, Wahlstrom, J., and Karpen, G. H. (2003). Sequence analysis of a functional Drosophila centromere. Genome Research 13, 182-194.

Konev, S., Yan, C., O’Hagan, E., Tickoo, S., and Karpen, G.H. (2003). Genetics of P element transposition into Drosophila centric heterochromatin. Genetics 65, 2039-2053.

Fyodorov, D.V., Blower, M.D., Karpen, G.H., and Kadonaga, J.T. (2004). The ACF chromatin assembly factor affects transcriptional silencing and cell cycle progression. Genes and Development 18(2), 170-183.