Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes
RNAs are involved in many key cellular processes, and even minor alterations in mRNA levels are often detrimental and could lead to diseases in human. Levels of individual mRNAs are regulated in response to environmental cues, during cell differentiation and development, however the underpinning mechanisms are not well understood.
Our research aims to understand how chromatin modifiers, RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription factors and the RNA exosome complex, a major RNA decay machinery, orchestrate different aspects of RNA metabolism: transcription, mRNA processing and stability to regulate individual mRNAs. To achieve this our laboratory is using multidisciplinary approaches where we combine state-of-the-art biochemistry, structural analyses, genetics and genomics to uncover molecular mechanisms regulating levels of individual transcripts in eukaryotes.
We are focused on two central questions:
How do transcription factors regulate RNA Pol II transition from elongation to termination and mRNA release at the end of transcription?
How are individual transcripts specifically targeted for degradation?