Research Profile for Lygerou Zoi

«Return to previous page
Lygerou Zoi
Department of Medicine
Research Activity
Cancer, Cell Cycle Control, genomic stability, functional imaging, modeling, systems biology
Cells must replicate their genome fully and only once before cell division can take place. Defects in DNA replication lead to genomic instability and predispose for malignant transformation. We study the control mechanisms which safeguard genomic stability by ensuring once per cell cycle replication in eukaryotic cells and how defects in this control may lead to tumorigenesis. We combine diverse experimental approaches: molecular-cell biology studies in human cells, genetic studies in fission yeast, analyses of tumor specimens, advanced live cell imaging and modelling of biological networks.
Research Infrastructure
Zoi Lygerou, Associate Professor
2 postdoctoral research associates, 3 PhD candidates, 2 research associates

Selected by the EMBO Young Investigator Program in 2000 (supporting outstanding life scientists in Europe,
Confocal Microscope (Leica SP5, equiped for live-cell imaging, time-lapse, FRAP, FRET, FLIP etc)
Wide-field Epifluorescence Microscope (Nikon TE2000U)
Microarray Scanner (Proscan Array, PerkinElmer)
Microarray Hybridizer (HybArray 12, PerkinElmer)
Bioanalyser (Agilent)
LightCycler (Roche)
All required equipment for cell culture work, molecular biology, genetic engineering, protein biochemistry etc
Research Activities
- Cell cycle and the DNA damage response
- DNA replication stress and the origins of cancer
- Studies of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions and modifications by advanced live-cell imaging techniques
- Modelling of biological systems

Target disease: Cancer
Model system: Cultured human cells, fission yeast
Key methodologies: functional imaging, cell cycle analysis, cell biology, modeling

Funding (indicative)
•EU-FP6-NEST-STREP, HYGEIA, 2005-2008. "Hybrid Systems for Biochemical Network Modeling and Analysis"
•Human Frontiers Science Program Organization 2002-2005
•EMBO Young Investigator Award 2001-2004
•Association for International Cancer Research 2000-2003
•Association for International Cancer Research 2009-2012.
•Greek Ministry of Education, Program Pythagoras II 2005-2007
•UniPatras, Program Karatheodori, 2000-2003
•UniPatras, Program Karatheodori, 2005-2008
•Empeirikeio Foundation, Research grant 2001

• J. Lygeros, K. Koutroumpas, S. Dimopoulos, I. Legouras, P. Kouretas, C. Heichinger, P. Nurse, Z. Lygerou (2008) Stochastic hybrid modelling of DNA replication across a complete genome. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 105:12295-12300.
• G. Xouri, A. Squire, M. Dimaki, B. Geverts, P.J. Verveer, S. Taraviras, H. Nishitani, A.B. Houtsmuller, P.I. H. Bastiaens, Z. Lygerou. (2007) Dynamic chromatin association of Cdt1 throughout G1 leads to Geminin recruitment onto chromatin. EMBO J, 26:1303-1314.
• V. Roukos, M.S. Iliou, H. Nishitani, M. Gentzel, M. Wilm, S. Taraviras, Z. Lygerou (2007) Geminin cleavage during apoptosis by caspase-3 alters its binding ability to the SWI/SNF subunit Brahma. J. Biol. Chem, 282:9346-9357.
• Xouri G, Dimaki M, Bastiaens PI, Lygerou Z. (2007) Cdt1 interactions in the licensing process: a model for dynamic spatiotemporal control of licensing. Cell Cycle. 6:1549-1552.
• Nishitani H, Sugimoto N, Roukos V, Nakanishi Y, Saijo M, Obuse C, Tsurimoto T, Nakayama KI, Nakayama K, Fujita M, Lygerou Z, Nishimoto T. (2006). Two E3 ubiquitin ligases, SCF-Skp2 and DDB1-Cul4, target human Cdt1 for proteolysis.EMBO J. 25(5):1126-36
• Karakaidos, P., S. Taraviras, L. Vassiliou, P. Zacharatos, N. Kastrinakis, D. Kougiou, M. Kouloukoussa, H. Nishitani, A. Papavasileiou, Z. Lygerou and V. Gorgoulis (2004). Overexpression of the replication licensing regulators hCdt1 and hCdc6 characterizes a subset of Non-Small-Cell Lung Carcinomas Am J Pathol, 165: 1351-1365
• Lygerou, Z and P. Nurse (2000) License withheld: blocking DNA replication onset by Geminin. Science, 290: 2271-2273
• Nishitani H., Lygerou, Z., Nishimoto, T. and P. Nurse (2000). The Cdt1 protein is required to license DNA for replication in fission yeast. Nature, 404:625-628
• Rockefeller University, NY, USA (Prof Paul Nurse, President,
• Max Planck Institute, Dortmund, Department of Systemic Cell Biology, (Prof P. Bastiaens, Director,
• ETH-Zurich (Prof J. Lygeros,
• European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany (
• London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK (
• Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (
• Athens Medical School, Histology Department

Additional Information
The group currently has openings for Postdoctoral and PhD students. Positions funded by the European Research Council. Contact:

ZL is a SET-Routes University Ambassador (, please contact for advice on career choices
ZL is an EMBO Young Investigator (, EMBL ( and LRI ( alumna, please contact for advice on international studies