DR JOOST ZOMERDIJK

+44 (0) 1382 384242, INTERNAL EXT. 84242

GENE REGULATION AND EXPRESSION

COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

Research Summary

Transcription of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes by RNA polymerase I (Pol I) is a process essential for life, producing the major rRNA building blocks of the ribosomes, and is tightly linked to nutrient availability, cell growth and proliferation in eukaryotes (1-4). To maintain normal cell growth, cells must balance rRNA supply with demand.

In the Zomerdijk laboratory we exploit molecular, biochemical and cellular techniques to dissect the molecular mechanisms of Pol I transcription. We are interested in the functions of individual components (protein and DNA) operating at different stages of the transcription cycle, including pre-initiation complex formation, transcription initiation and promoter escape of Pol I at the initiation to elongation boundary, as well as, the influence of chromatin dynamics at the active rRNA genes on initiation and elongation.

Our research activities are also directed towards understanding the complexities of the cellular control of Pol I transcription and the impact of deregulated rRNA synthesis on the fate of cells.