Abstract: In higher eukaryotes, genes are expressed dynamically in complex spatial and temporal patterns, which are progressively refined to set up body plans and define specific cell-types. The information about when and where each gene is to be expressed is encoded in the sequences of promoter- and enhancer regions.
I am presenting our work towards understanding the how this regulatory information is sequence-encoded and how cells utilize this information with transcription factor and cofactor proteins. Using an interdisciplinary approach in Drosophila, we functionally characterize regulatory sequences by enhancer screens in embryos and cell-culture and by assessing core promoter activities of large candidate libraries. We also study how enhancers activate different types of core promoters and how enhancer – core-promoter specificity is encoded in the two elements’ sequences. Finally, we dissect the combinatorics of transcription factors and transcriptional cofactors at enhancers by directed tethering in enhancer complementation assays, which revealed functionally distinct classes of transcription factors and cofactors.
About the Stark Lab: