Tianzan Zhou L&S Sciences
Study of truncated mRNAs using natural genetic variation in yeast
My project concerns the regulation of transcription. Transcription is the process by which a DNA sequence is transcribed into an RNA sequence. This RNA sequence then gets translated into a protein, which is the basic machinery of life. Therefore, the mechanisms by which transcription is regulated are very important to understand. We have evidence for a novel mechanism that takes place during transcription and utilizes the creation of truncated, nonfunctional RNA transcripts of a gene to repress the formation of long, functional transcripts of that same gene. We do not yet know the mechanism that determines this phenomenon. I am analyzing the entire yeast genome for genes whose expressions correlate with the appearance of short transcripts to try and pinpoint the genes that regulate this observation. This will help us understand the process of transcription in a greater detail, and also the ways in which it can malfunction in common diseases such as cancer.