Professor Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Ph.D., SUNY at Stony Brook, 1981
Phone: (405) 271-2227 ext. 61233
Fax: (405) 271-3139
Regulation of gene expression by zinc and other small molecules; gene expression analysis in cancer and other disease states
Regulation of gene transcription is responsible in large part for the growth, differentiation, and transformation of eukaryotic cells. Initiation of RNA synthesis by RNA polymerases is dependent upon and regulated by transcription factors, a family of DNA binding proteins whose members interact specifically with promoters, enhancers and upstream activating sequences of genes.
Our research efforts are directed toward understanding the molecular biology of eukaryotic transcription factors, endeavors we believe necessary for ultimately understanding cell growth, differentiation and transformation.
Research activities are being conducted in four areas: 1) elucidating transcription factor structure and function utilizing biochemical and in vitro mutagenesis approaches, 2) cloning and sequencing of transcription factor genes and cDNAs in order to identify conserved and functionally important regions in the DNA and protein sequence, 3) characterizing tissue-specific transcription factors that may play a role in differentiation and oncogenesis, and 4) elucidating mechanisms regulating transcription factor gene expression.
Present studies are focused on families of eukaryotic transcription factors whose DNA binding domains contain "zinc fingers", cysteine-rich amino acid motifs known to coordinate zinc ions.
Selected Publications [Search Pubmed]