Responses to structurally defined DNA lesions

DNA damage induced by environmental genotoxic agents unavoidably leads to stochastic mutations. Intriguingly, genes with mutations in human diseases (like cancers, neurological syndromes and immune disorders) often have abnormal epigenetic patterns as well, suggesting that both genetic and epigenetic alterations originate from common DNA damage events earlier in life.

My team investigates the effects of DNA damage and repair on the local epigenetic landscape and gene transcription in order to identify factors contributing to gene dysfunction in age-related diseases and hereditary diseases with progeroid phenotype (such as Cockayne syndrome).

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2016: Group Leader (Heisenberg Fellowship), Genetic Toxicology, University Medical Center (UMC), Mainz
  • 2005 - 2016: Research Scientist, Genetic Toxicology, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz
  • 2001 - 2005: Researcher, Molecular Biology, University of Bologna
  • 2000 - 2001: IARC Research Fellow, Cancer Biology, University of Bologna
  • 1999 - 2000: Junior Research Associate, R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology, and Radiobiology, Kyiv


  • 1999: PhD in Biology (Oncology), R.E.Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology, and Radiobiology, Kyiv
  • 1995: Diploma (honours) in Biology / Immunology, National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv

Selected publications by Andriy Khobta

Kitsera N, Rodriguez-Alvarez M, Emmert S, Carell T, Khobta A (2019) Nucleotide excision repair of abasic DNA lesions. Nucleic Acids Research, 47:8537-8547 Link

Kitsera, N, Allgayer, J, Parsa, E, Geier, N, Rossa, M, Carell, T, Khobta A (2017) A Functional impacts of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxycytosine at a single hemi-modified CpG dinucleotide in a gene promoterNucleic Acids Res, 45(19):11033-11042 Link

Allgayer J, Kitsera N, Bartelt S, Epe B and Khobta A (2016) Widespread transcriptional gene inactivation initiated by a repair intermediate of 8-oxoguanine. Nucleic Acids Res, 44:7267-7280 Link

Kitsera N, Gasteiger K, Lühnsdorf B, Allgayer J, Epe B, Carell T, Khobta A (2014) Cockayne syndrome: varied requirement of transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair for the removal of three structurally different adducts from transcribed DNA. PLoS One, 9(4):e94405 Link

Lühnsdorf B, Epe B and Khobta A (2014) Excision of uracil from transcribed DNA negatively affects the gene expression. J Biol Chem, 289:22008-22018 Link