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The Department's buildings are currently open for wet laboratory work only. We have carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and have introduced a number of new measures to ensure the safety of our staff, including reduced building occupancy, strict social distancing, 'family'-based working, and increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. All staff who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future. Please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Biochemistry


Our pubmed entries


Holzer S, Yan J, Kilkenny ML, Bell SD, Pellegrini L. Primer synthesis by a eukaryotic-like archaeal primase is independent of its Fe-S cluster. Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 23;8(1):1718. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01707-w. PubMed PMID: 29167441.

Kilkenny ML, Simon AC, Mainwaring J, Wirthensohn D, Holzer S, Pellegrini L. The human CTF4-orthologue AND-1 interacts with DNA polymerase α/primase via its unique C-terminal HMG box. Open Biol. 2017 Nov;7(11). pii: 170217. doi: 10.1098/rsob.170217. PubMed PMID: 29167311.

Wu Y, Villa F, Maman J, Lau YH, Dobnikar L, Simon AC, Labib K, Spring DR, Pellegrini L. Targeting the Genome-Stability Hub Ctf4 by Stapled-Peptide Design. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017 Oct 9;56(42):12866-12872. doi:10.1002/anie.201705611. Epub 2017 Sep 7. PubMed PMID: 28815832.

Kolinjivadi AM, Sannino V, De Antoni A, Zadorozhny K, Kilkenny M, Técher H, Baldi G, Shen R, Ciccia A, Pellegrini L, Krejci L, Costanzo V. Smarcal1-Mediated  Fork Reversal Triggers Mre11-Dependent Degradation of Nascent DNA in the Absence  of Brca2 and Stable Rad51 Nucleofilaments. Mol Cell. 2017 Sep 7;67(5):867-881.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.07.001. Epub 2017 Jul 27. PubMed PMID: 28757209; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5594205.

Pellegrini L. Comment on "The [4Fe4S] cluster of human DNA primase functions as a redox switch using DNA charge transport". Science. 2017 Jul 21;357(6348). pii: eaan2954. doi: 10.1126/science.aan2954. PubMed PMID: 28729486.

Pellegrini L. Structural insights into Cdc45 function: was there a nuclease at the heart of the ancestral replisome? Biophys Chem. 2017 Jun;225:10-14. doi:10.1016/j.bpc.2016.11.011. Epub 2016 Nov 27. Review. PubMed PMID: 27919598; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5484177.

Holzer S, Degliesposti G, Kilkenny ML, Maslen SL, Matak-Vinkovíc D, Skehel M, Pellegrini L. Crystal structure of the N-terminal domain of human Timeless and its interaction with Tipin. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 May 19;45(9):5555-5563. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx139. PubMed PMID: 28334766; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5605233.

Syrjänen JL, Heller I, Candelli A, Davies OR, Peterman EJ, Wuite GJ, Pellegrini L. Single-molecule observation of DNA compaction by meiotic protein SYCP3. Elife. 2017 Mar 13;6. pii: e22582. doi: 10.7554/eLife.22582. PubMed PMID: 28287952; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5348128.


Pellegrini L, Costa A. New Insights into the Mechanism of DNA Duplication by the Eukaryotic Replisome. Trends Biochem Sci. 2016 Oct;41(10):859-71. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2016.07.011. Epub 2016 Aug 20. Review. PubMed PMID: 27555051.

Simon AC, Sannino V, Costanzo V, Pellegrini L. Structure of human Cdc45 and implications for CMG helicase function. Nat Commun. 2016 May 18;7:11638. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11638. PubMed PMID: 27189187; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4873980.

Villa F, Simon AC, Ortiz Bazan MA, Kilkenny ML, Wirthensohn D, Wightman M, Matak-Vinkovíc D, Pellegrini L, Labib K. Ctf4 Is a Hub in the Eukaryotic Replisome that Links Multiple CIP-Box Proteins to the CMG Helicase. Mol Cell. 2016 Aug 4;63(3):385-96. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.06.009. Epub 2016 Jul 7. PubMed PMID: 27397685; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4980431.


Anjum RS, Bray SM, Blackwood JK, Kilkenny ML, Coelho MA, Foster BM, Li S, Howard JA, Pellegrini L, Albers SV, Deery MJ, Robinson NP. Involvement of a eukaryotic-like ubiquitin-related modifier in the proteasome pathway of the archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Nat Commun. 2015 Sep 8;6:8163. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9163. PubMed PMID: 26348592; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4569737.

Forment JV, Jackson SP, Pellegrini L. When two is not enough: a CtIP tetramer is required for DNA repair by Homologous Recombination. Nucleus. 2015;6(5):344-8. doi: 10.1080/19491034.2015.1086050. PubMed PMID: 26305173; PubMed Central PMCID:  PMC4915501.

Davies OR, Forment JV, Sun M, Belotserkovskaya R, Coates J, Galanty Y, Demir M, Morton CR, Rzechorzek NJ, Jackson SP, Pellegrini L. CtIP tetramer assembly is required for DNA-end resection and repair. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2015 Feb;22(2):150-157. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2937. Epub 2015 Jan 5. PubMed PMID: 25558984; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4564947.


Syrjänen JL, Heller I, Candelli A, Davies OR, Peterman EJ, Wuite GJ, Pellegrini L. Single-molecule observation of DNA compaction by meiotic protein SYCP3. Elife. 2017 Mar 13;6. pii: e22582. doi: 10.7554/eLife.22582. PubMed PMID: 28287952; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5348128.

Rzechorzek NJ, Blackwood JK, Bray SM, Maman JD, Pellegrini L, Robinson NP. Structure of the hexameric HerA ATPase reveals a mechanism of translocation-coupled DNA-end processing in archaea. Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 25;5:5506. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6506. PubMed PMID: 25420454; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4376295.

Syrjänen JL, Pellegrini L, Davies OR. A molecular model for the role of SYCP3 in meiotic chromosome organisation. Elife. 2014 Jun 20;3. doi: 10.7554/eLife.02963. PubMed PMID: 24950965; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4102245.

Simon AC, Zhou JC, Perera RL, van Deursen F, Evrin C, Ivanova ME, Kilkenny ML, Renault L, Kjaer S, Matak-Vinković D, Labib K, Costa A, Pellegrini L. A Ctf4 trimer couples the CMG helicase to DNA polymerase α in the eukaryotic replisome. Nature. 2014 Jun 12;510(7504):293-297. doi: 10.1038/nature13234. Epub 2014 May 4. PubMed PMID: 24805245; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4059944.


Kilkenny ML, Longo MA, Perera RL, Pellegrini L. Structures of human primase reveal design of nucleotide elongation site and mode of Pol α tethering. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 1;110(40):15961-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1311185110. Epub 2013 Sep 16. PubMed PMID: 24043831; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3791718.

Perera RL, Torella R, Klinge S, Kilkenny ML, Maman JD, Pellegrini L. Mechanism for priming DNA synthesis by yeast DNA polymerase α. Elife. 2013 Apr 2;2:e00482. doi: 10.7554/eLife.00482. PubMed PMID: 23599895; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3628110.

Blackwood JK, Rzechorzek NJ, Bray SM, Maman JD, Pellegrini L, Robinson NP. End-resection at DNA double-strand breaks in the three domains of life. Biochem Soc Trans. 2013 Feb 1;41(1):314-20. doi: 10.1042/BST20120307. PubMed PMID: 23356304; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3561678.


Pellegrini L. The Pol α-primase complex. Subcell Biochem. 2012;62:157-69. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4572-8_9. Review. PubMed PMID: 22918585.

Davies OR, Maman JD, Pellegrini L. Structural analysis of the human SYCE2-TEX12 complex provides molecular insights into synaptonemal complex assembly. Open Biol. 2012 Jul;2(7):120099. doi: 10.1098/rsob.120099. PubMed PMID: 22870393; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3411106.

Kilkenny ML, De Piccoli G, Perera RL, Labib K, Pellegrini L. A conserved motif in the C-terminal tail of DNA polymerase α tethers primase to the eukaryotic replisome. J Biol Chem. 2012 Jul 6;287(28):23740-7. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.368951. Epub 2012 May 16. PubMed PMID: 22593576; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3390648.

Blackwood JK, Rzechorzek NJ, Abrams AS, Maman JD, Pellegrini L, Robinson NP. Structural and functional insights into DNA-end processing by the archaeal HerA helicase-NurA nuclease complex. Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Apr;40(7):3183-96. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr1157. Epub 2011 Dec 1. PubMed PMID: 22135300; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3326311.


Sauguet L, Klinge S, Perera RL, Maman JD, Pellegrini L. Shared active site architecture between the large subunit of eukaryotic primase and DNA photolyase. PLoS One. 2010 Apr 9;5(4):e10083. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010083. PubMed PMID: 20404922; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2852410.

Klinge S, Núñez-Ramírez R, Llorca O, Pellegrini L. 3D architecture of DNA Pol alpha reveals the functional core of multi-subunit replicative polymerases. EMBO J. 2009 Jul 8;28(13):1978-87. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2009.150. Epub 2009 Jun 4. PubMed PMID: 19494830; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2693882.

Ragone S, Maman JD, Furnham N, Pellegrini L. Structural basis for inhibition of homologous recombination by the RecX protein. EMBO J. 2008 Aug 20;27(16):2259-69. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2008.145. Epub 2008 Jul 24. PubMed PMID: 18650935; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2500204.

Klinge S, Hirst J, Maman JD, Krude T, Pellegrini L. An iron-sulfur domain of the eukaryotic primase is essential for RNA primer synthesis. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2007 Sep;14(9):875-7. Epub 2007 Aug 19. PubMed PMID: 17704817; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2268749.

Davies OR, Pellegrini L. Interaction with the BRCA2 C terminus protects RAD51-DNA filaments from disassembly by BRC repeats. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2007 Jun;14(6):475-83. Erratum in: Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2007 Jul;14(7):680. PubMed PMID: 17515903; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2096194.

Nookala RK, Hussain S, Pellegrini L. Insights into Fanconi Anaemia from the structure of human FANCE. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(5):1638-48. Epub 2007 Feb 18. PubMed PMID: 17308347; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1865054.

Shivji MK, Davies OR, Savill JM, Bates DL, Pellegrini L, Venkitaraman AR. A region of human BRCA2 containing multiple BRC repeats promotes RAD51-mediated strand exchange. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(14):4000-11. Epub 2006 Aug 16. PubMed PMID: 16914443; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1557805.

Doré AS, Furnham N, Davies OR, Sibanda BL, Chirgadze DY, Jackson SP, Pellegrini L, Blundell TL. Structure of an Xrcc4-DNA ligase IV yeast ortholog complex reveals a novel BRCT interaction mode. DNA Repair (Amst). 2006 Mar 7;5(3):362-8. Epub 2006 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 16388993.

Lao-Sirieix SH, Nookala RK, Roversi P, Bell SD, Pellegrini L. Structure of the heterodimeric core primase. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2005 Dec;12(12):1137-44. Epub 2005 Nov 6. PubMed PMID: 16273105.

Lao-Sirieix SH, Pellegrini L, Bell SD. The promiscuous primase. Trends Genet. 2005 Oct;21(10):568-72. Review. PubMed PMID: 16095750.

Pellegrini L, Venkitaraman A. Emerging functions of BRCA2 in DNA recombination. Trends Biochem Sci. 2004 Jun;29(6):310-6. PubMed PMID: 15276185.


Contact details

Research Group Leader  Luca Pellegrini​


Location  Sanger Building


The Pellegrini Group is accepting enquiries from prospective interns, undergraduate students, postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers.