A11 - Characterization of Morc3, a novel factor in retrotransposon silencing
Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are remnants of retroviral infections during evolution. More than 10% of mammalian genomes are composed of endogenous retroviruses. Cells have developed strategies to sense endogenous retroviruses and to establish a repressive chromatin structure across retroviral sequences preventing their transcription. To find new cellular components for ERV silencing we per-formed a genome-wide sgRNA screen. Top hits in this screen include Setdb1 and Dnmt1, known components of ERV silencing. Importantly, we also found new components, not previously involved in ERV silencing. The aim of this project will be the functional characterization of the major hit, Morc3, in ERV silencing.