Zoya Avramova
Zoya Avramova

Ph.D. Moscow State University, 1975
        (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)
M.S. Moscow State University, 1970
Contact Information
E230 Beadle Center




Research Interests

My laboratory is interested in the relationship between chromatin structure and gene function in animals and in plants. There is a growing recognition of the importance of chromatin structure and of the products of the Pc-G/Trx-G complex as part of a global cellular memory system. Despite the realization that these mechanisms are involved in processes regulating cell-fate and developmental programs, we still know little about the Pc-G/Trx-G functions and chromatin-regulated events in plants.

With the advent of new technologies and groundbreaking new studies, there is a renewed interest in exploring the possibilities for common mechanisms regulating development in animals and in plants.

We are studying a family of Trithorax related genes in the model plant Arabidopsis. We are studying its role in regulating flower development and the molecular/biochemical mechanism of its activity. The unexpected observation that some members of the family (ATX1) are not obligatory nuclear proteins and the determined ability of ATX1 to bind the phospholipid ligand, phosphoinositide-5 phosphate, opened a novel venue of our research: a current goal is to characterize this signaling mechanism connecting cellular signaling with epigenetic gene regulation. We are particularly interested in the evolution of these mechanisms at the molecular level and include a broad array of phylogenetic, bioinformatics, molecular and cellular biology approaches.


Recent Publications

  • Ding Y, Avramova Z, and Fromm M. (2011) The Plant Trithorax-like Factor ATX1 functions in  Dehydration Stress Responses in Arabidopsis through ABA-dependent and ABA-independent pathways The Plant J 
  • Ding Y, Avramova Z, and Fromm M. (2011) Two Distinct Roles of Arabidopsis Homolog of Trithorax, ATX1, at Promoters and within 5’-Transcribed Regions of ATX1 Regulated Genes The Plant Cell 23:350-363.
  • Ndamukong I, Lapko H, Cerny R, and Avramova Z. A (2011) A cytoplasm-specific activity encoded by the Trithorax-like ATX1 locus (2011) Nucleic Acid Res. 39: 1-11
  • van Dijk K, Ding Y, Malkaram S, Riethoven J-JM, Li R, Yang J, Laczko  P, Chen H, Xia Y , Ladunga I, Avramova Z, and Fromm M. (2010) Dynamic Changes of Genome-Wide Histone H3 Lysine 4 Methylation Patterns in Response to Dehydration Stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Plant Biol. 2010 Nov 5;10(1):238. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Ndamukong I, Jones D, Lapko H, Divecha N. and Avramova Z. (2010) Phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate links dehydration stress to the activity of ARABIDOPSIS TRITHORAX-LIKE factor ATX1. PLoS One Oct 13;5(10):e13396.
  • Avramova Z. (2010)  Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in plants. In: Trygve Tollefsbol, editors, Handbook of Epigenetics. Oxford: Academic Press, 2010, pp. 251-278.
  • Ding Y, Lapko H, Ndamukong I, Xia Y, Al-Abdallat A, Sadder M, Lalithambika S, Fromm M., Riethoven JJ., Lu G, and Avramova Z. (2009) Involvement of ATX1 and Myotubularin 1 in the Arabidopsis response to draught stress. Plant Signaling and Behav. 4: 1049-1058.  
  • Avramova Z.  Evolution and pleiotropy of TRITHORAX function in Arabidopsis (2009) J. Dev. Biol. 53:371-381
  • Ndamukong I, Chetram A, Saleh A. and Avramova Z. (2009) The Arabidopsis Homolog of Trithorax, ATX1, Regulates Expression of a Multitude of Wall-Modifying Genes; repression of the XTH33 gene by ATX1 as a test case. The Plant J. 58, 541–553.
  • Avramova Z. (2009) Evolution and pleiotropy of TRITHORAX function in Arabidopsis (invited review for: Int. J. Developmental Biology 53, 371-381.
  • Saleh A, Alvarez-Venegas R, and Avramova Z. (2008) Dynamic and stable histone H3 methylation patterns at the Arabidopsis FLC and AP1 loci. GENE 423, 43-47.
  • Veerappan C, Avramova, Z, and Moriyama E. (2008) Evolution of SET-domain families in the unicellular and multicellular Ascomycota fungi. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8, 190-210.
  • Saleh A, Alvarez-Venegas R, Yilmaz M, Oahn-Le*, Al-Abdallat A, Monther S, Xia Y, Ladunga I, and Avramova Z. (2008) The highly similar ARABIDOPSIS HOMOLOGS OF TRITHORAX ATX1 and ATX2 encode divergent biochemical functions The Plant Cell 20, 568-579.
  • Pien S, Fleury D, Mylne JS, Crevillen P, Inzé D, Avramova Z, Dean C, and Grossniklaus U. (2008) Unraveling trithorax Function in Plants: ATX1 Dynamically Regulates the Activation of FLC via Histone 3 Lysine 4 Tri-methylation The Plant Cell 20, 580-588.
  • Saleh A, Alvarez-Venegas R, and Avramova Z. (2008) An efficient chromatin immunoprecipitation protocol (ChIP) for studying histone modifications in Arabidopsis plants. Nature Protocols 3, 1018-1025.
  • Alvarez-Venegas R, Tikhonov A, Sadder M, and Avramova Z. (2007) Origin of the Bacterial SET Domain Genes: Vertical or Horizontal? Mol. Biol. Evol. 24, 482-497.
  • Saleh A, Al-Abdallat A, Ndamukong I, Alvarez-Venegas R, and Avramova Z (2007) The Arabidopsis Homologs of Trithorax (ATX1) and Enhancer of Zeste (CLF) Establish  “Bivalent Chromatin Marks” at the Silent AGAMOUS Locus. Nucleic Acids Res. 35, 6290-6296.
  • Alvarez-Venegas R, Al-Abdallat A, Guo M, Alfano J and Avramova Z (2007) Epigenetic Control of a Transcription Factor at the Node of Convergence of Two Signaling Pathways. EPIGENETICS 2, 106-113.
  • Alvarez-Venegas R, Xia Y, Lu G, and Avramova Z (2006) Phosphoinositide 5-Phosphate and Phosphoinositide 4-Phosphate Trigger Distinct Specific Responses of Arabidopsis Genes. Plant Signaling and Behavior 1, 140-151.
  • Alvarez-Venegas R, Sadder M, Hlavacka A, Baluška F, Xia Y, Lu G, Firsov A, Sarath G, Moriyama H, Dubrovsky J, and Avramova Z (2006) The Arabidopsis Homolog of Trithorax, ATX1, Binds Phosphoinositide 5-Phosphate and the Two Regulate a Common Set of Target Genes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 103, 6049-6054.