Gene expression is regulated by transcription factors, chromatin structure and higher order organization. The positioning of genes within the nucleus and with respect to each other often correlates with their expression. The molecular mechanisms that control gene positioning within the nucleus are largely unknown. As a model for gene positioning, we have focused on the molecular mechanisms by which genes reposition from the nucleoplasm to the nuclear periphery upon activation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Targeting to the nuclear periphery involves a physical interaction with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and is mediated by cis-acting DNA zip codes that are both necessary and sufficient to induce interaction with the NPC and localization at the nuclear periphery. Such zip codes also confer interchromosomal clustering of genes at the nuclear periphery. We have identified a number of transcription factors that bind to these zip codes and mediate targeting to the nuclear periphery. This suggests that controlling gene positioning is an unappreciated function of transcription factors and that cis-acting transcription factor binding sites represent a genetic means to control the spatial organization of the genome. The proposed studies will 1) determine the molecular mechanism by which the Gcn4 TF mediates targeting to the nuclear periphery and interchromosomal clustering, 2) comprehensively identify TFs and DNA binding proteins that impact gene positioning, and 3) test the hypothesis that TFs spatially and functionally compartmentalize the yeast genome.

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Like the rest of the cell, the nucleus is spatially organized; chromosomes fold and occupy non- random positions and the position of individual genes impacts their expression. My lab has discovered that the position of genes is controlled by ?DNA zip codes?. This proposal seeks to define the molecular mechanism by which zip codes control gene positioning and to define the role of zip codes in controlling the spatial and functional organization of the genome.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
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Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Structure/Function and Dynamics Study Section (NCSD)
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Carter, Anthony D
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Sood, Varun; Cajigas, Ivelisse; D'Urso, Agustina et al. (2017) Epigenetic Transcriptional Memory of GAL Genes Depends on Growth in Glucose and the Tup1 Transcription Factor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 206:1895-1907
Brickner, Jason (2017) Genetic and epigenetic control of the spatial organization of the genome. Mol Biol Cell 28:364-369
D'Urso, Agustina; Brickner, Jason H (2017) Memory Is the Treasury and Guardian of All Things. Mol Cell 66:5-6
D'Urso, Agustina; Brickner, Jason H (2017) Epigenetic transcriptional memory. Curr Genet 63:435-439
Sump, Bethany; Brickner, Jason H (2017) Nup98 regulation of histone methylation promotes normal gene expression and may drive leukemogenesis. Genes Dev 31:2201-2203
Kim, Seungsoo; Liachko, Ivan; Brickner, Donna G et al. (2017) The dynamic three-dimensional organization of the diploid yeast genome. Elife 6:
Satomura, Atsushi; Brickner, Jason H (2017) Nuclear Pore Complexes: A Scaffold Regulating Developmental Transcription? Trends Cell Biol 27:621-622
Randise-Hinchliff, Carlo; Brickner, Jason H (2016) Transcription factors dynamically control the spatial organization of the yeast genome. Nucleus 7:369-74
D'Urso, Agustina; Takahashi, Yoh-Hei; Xiong, Bin et al. (2016) Set1/COMPASS and Mediator are repurposed to promote epigenetic transcriptional memory. Elife 5:
Randise-Hinchliff, Carlo; Coukos, Robert; Sood, Varun et al. (2016) Strategies to regulate transcription factor-mediated gene positioning and interchromosomal clustering at the nuclear periphery. J Cell Biol 212:633-46

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