Chromosomal Structures and Gene Activity

Genes function in the context of chromosomes in living cells and our laboratory studies how chromosomal structures regulate gene activity. We have found that histones regulate genes quite differently when genes are in euchromatin as opposed to heterochromatin. We believe that these differences are due to the interaction of histones with different trans-acting regulatory proteins. A major goal in our laboratory is to define how histones and their post-translational modifications interact with such factors to regulate gene activity, DNA replication and the heterochromatin structure and function of telomeres. To study these problems we use the biochemistry, genetics, recombinant DNA and genome wide DNA microarray technologies available in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These results are then applied to questions relating to human cell differentiation. Using human genome wide approaches and siRNA screens for human genes that affect histone modifications the lab studies how histone modifications regulate the genetic program of pluripotency in human stem cells.

Grunstein Lab 302 Boyer Hall