Møllegaard Group

The research interests of Møllegaard Group is Genome structure and organisation. DNA structure and transcription regulation.



  • Analysis of DNA structural codes in genomes: The sequence of genomic DNA contains information on several levels, ranging from simple coding of protein and stable RNA gene products over controlling the temporal and spatial expression of these, to the physical structure and compaction (in nucleosomes and chromatin) of the genome in the cell nucleus. Therefore, the evolutionary constraint on the genome sequence is multidimensional. Almost all genomic bioinformatics analyses focus on primary DNA sequence without taking into account, or being able to interpret, second and third order effects of the DNA sequence composition, such as on DNA helix conformation, electrostatics and flexibility, which is also “encoded” by the DNA and has direct impact on crucial functional parameters such as protein recognition and physical DNA properties. The project is aimed at understanding sequence-derived effects on DNA helix conformation, in particular with regards to genome function and potential malfunction in human diseases, as well as its evolutionary impact. We will by employment of new powerful methods for DNA structure probing, high throughput sequencing of the human genome, and state-of-the-art bioinformatics tools gain a deeper understanding of the functional importance of DNA structures across the genome
  • Transcription activation by PNA in the human genome: The project aims to study peptide nucleic acids (PNA) and modification of the process of transcription in the human genome. PNA are synthetic nucleic acid analogs that can form highly stable and specific complexes with DNA. The ultimate goal is to develop PNA-based therapeutics that can selectively target and regulate the expression of disease-causing genes, potentially leading to the treatment of various genetic disorders.




  • Leinisch, F., Mariotti, M., Andersen, S.H.,  Lindemose, S., Hägglund, P., Møllegaard, N.E., Davies, M.J. UV oxidation of cyclic AMP receptor protein, a global bacterial gene regulator, decreases DNA binding and cleaves DNA at specific sites. Scientific reports 10, 3106-3112 (2020)
  • Elnegaard, R.L.B., Mollegaard, NE., Zhang, Q., Kjeldsen, F. and Jorgensen, T.J.D.  Uranyl Photocleavage of Phosphopeptides Yields Truncated C-Terminally Amidated Peptide Products. Chembiochem 18, 1117-1122 (2017).
  • Gjerstorff, M., Relster, M., Greve, KBV, Møller, JB., Elias, D.1, Lindgreen, JN.,Schmidt,, S., Mollenhauer, J, Voldborg, B, Møllegård, NE. and Ditzel, HJ. SSX2 is a novel DNA-binding protein that antagonizes polycomb group body formation and gene repression. Nucleic Acids Research. 42(18):433-46. (2014)
  • Zhang, Q, Jørgensen, TJD, Nielsen, PE., and Møllegaard NE. A phosphorylation tag for uranyl mediated protein purification and photo assisted tag removal. PLoS One. 9(3):e91138. (2014).
  • Lindemose S, Nielsen PE, Valentin-Hansen P., Møllegaard NE A novel indirect readout component in the E. coli cyclic AMP receptor protein operator. ACS Chem Biol. 9(3):752-60.   (2014).
  • Gjerstorff MF, Rösner HI, Pedersen CB, Greve KB, Schmidt S, Wilson KL, Mollenhauer J, Besir H, Poulsen FM, Møllegaard NE, Ditzel HJ. GAGE cancer-germline antigens are recruited to the nuclear envelope by germ cell-less (GCL). PLoS One. 7(9):e45819. (2012).
  • Lindemose S, Nielsen PE, Hansen, M., Møllegaard NE.  A DNA minor groove electronegative potential genome map based on photo-chemical probing. Nucleic Acids Research. 39(14):6269-76. (2011).



  •  Læge Sofus Carl Emil Friis og Hustru Olga Doris Friis' Legat
  •  Kirsten og Freddy Johansens Fond




  • Peter E. Nielsen, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU
  • Jesper Svejstrup, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU
  • Michael J. Davies, Department of Biomedical science, KU
  • Thomas JD Jørgensen, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, SDU
  • Frank Kjeldsen, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, SDU
  • Morten Gjerstoff, Department for Cancer and Inflammation Research, SDU



More than 25 years experience in teaching of cell biology at bachelor and gene therapy at masters level. Course manager on bachelor and master courses. Organizations of a long series of PhD courses.






niels erik møllegaardGroup Leader

Niels Erik Møllegaard
Associate Professor

(+45) 35 32 77 78
CV, Publications, etc

 Transcription, RNA, and Gene Medicine Program