Coordination of gene regulatory processes

11 March 2016

Stirling Churchman
Department of Genetics
Harvard Medical School


The textbook view of gene expression consists of a series of events: RNA transcription, splicing, export and translation. However, diverse control mechanisms converge to ensure that gene transcripts are expressed and processed accurately. Dissection of these interactions has proven challenging, because most experimental approaches record downstream products fed by multiple pathways – for example, mature mRNA as the combined product of transcription and splicing. Here I will discuss two coupled processes in gene expression that we have analyzing through measuring each gene expression step separately and quantitatively. 1) the coupling of transcription elongation with co-transcriptional processes, particularly splicing; and 2) the coordination of mitochondrial and nuclear gene expression in the assembly of oxidative phosphorylation complexes. With our strategy, we address where and when the regulation of gene expression processes are coupled and we determine the molecular mechanisms that connect these key processes.

current theory lunch schedule