HHMI UCB LBL

Structural Studies Of DNA and RNA Transactions

Our studies of nucleic acid transactions have been most powerful at defining the overall architecture of a large number of macromolecular assemblies involved in the critical initiation steps in DNA replication, RNA transcription and translation, for which no crystallographic information yet exist (e.g. ORC, TFIID, eIF3), as well as putting the crystal structures of essential elements in RNA processing and degradation in the complex of fully functional complexes (e.g. exosome, RLC). Our aim is to gain mechanistic insight that goes beyond overall architecture, by pushing resolution, describing conformational landscapes, and relating structural states to function via the analysis of interactions with ligands and regulatory factors.

Eukaryotic DNA Replication

During cell division, initiator proteins target and bind to DNA replication origins to trigger genome duplication. We are characterizing the structure of Drosophila melanogaster Origin Recognition Complex (DmORC), and the effect of nucleotide and phosphorylation state in conformation and function ... read more about ORC ...

ORC

Eukaryotic Transcription

Regulated gene transcription in eukaryotes requires the assembly of a complex molecular machinery that includes general factors, activators, cofactor complexes and chromatin modifying and remodeling factors. We are interested in characterizing the structure of these different components and how they interact to regulate transcription. Read more about chromatin remodelers ...   Read more about TFIID ...   Read more about RNAPII...   Read more about PRC2...

transcription

Eukaryotic Translation Initiation

In eukaryotes at least twelve translation initiation factors and an mRNA methylated G-cap are required to initiate protein synthesis, while in many viruses a structured RNA element replaces most of those factors. We are studying the molecular interplays that characterize both initiation pathways ... read more about eIF3

eIF3

Transcription-Coupled DNA Repair

Our lab is part of a large NCI funded project in Structural Biology of DNA Repair that aims at producing biologically relevant DNA repair structures and identifying fundamental structural principles for repair proteins. The role of electron microscopy is to provide structures of large macromolecular complexes involved in these processes... read more

News

Recent publications

Greg Alushin et al. <a href=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24855948> High-Resolution Microtubule Structures Reveal the Structural Transitions in αβ-Tubulin upon GTP Hydrolysis</a><i>Cell</i>, 157(5)1117-29. Megan Hochstrasser, David Taylor et al. <a href=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24748111> CasA mediates Cas3-catalyzed target degradation during CRISPR RNA-guided interference.</a><i>Proc Natl Acad Sci</i>, Epub ahead of print Martin Jinek et al. <a href=http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/02/05/science.1247997> Structures of Cas9 Endonucleases Reveal RNA-Mediated Conformational Activation</a><i>Science</i>, Epub ahead of print Bleichert et al. <a href=http://elife.elifesciences.org/content/2/e00882> A Meier-Gorlin syndrome mutation in a conserved C-terminal helix of Orc6 impedes origin recognition complex formation</a><i>eLife</i>, 2:e00882, Oct 8 2013 Epub Kassube et al. <a href=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23748380> Structural mimicry in transcription regulation of human RNA polymerase II by the DNA helicase RECQL5</a><i>Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol.</i>, 20(7)892-9

Thesis award

David Taylor received the Mary Ellen Jones Dissertation Prize, which is awarded annually to recognize the most distinguished dissertation in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University.

Forbes: 30 Under 30 Issue

Alumni Greg Alushin (class of 2012, Biophysics Graduate Program) is one of the 30 under 30 selected by the magazine Forbes in the category of Science and Healthcare.