Fidelity and Regulation of RNA Polymerase II Transcription
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In order to use the genetic instructions provided by chromosomes, the information in DNA must first be copied into RNA via the process of transcription, which is directed by an enzyme called RNA polymerase.In eukaryotes, all protein-coding genes are transcribed by RNA polymerase II (pol II), and thus much of the temporal and spatial regulation of gene expression is mediated by direct or indirect effects on the activity of this enzyme.Control of the expression of genetic information is relevant to agriculture in numerous ways. For example, hormone-regulated processes that affect animal development and fertility, interactions between plant pathogens and hosts, and purposeful manipulation of crops to increase yield or utility are all the result of changes in gene expression.This project seeks to understand cellular processes that affect of the fidelity and control of pol II.These processes are likely to be universal among many species, so the use of model organisms in which genetic and biochemical manipulation have been extensively developed (such as baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae) will provide insights into more agriculturally relevant animals, plants, and microorganisms.The studies to be performed will explore molecular details related to transcriptional fidelity and control. Previous work has suggested models that could explain, for example, how pol II recognizes when it makes a mistake and pauses so that the error can be corrected..........