University of Wisconsin-Madison
Our research focuses on structure/function of RNA polymerase (RNAP) and its central role in the regulation of gene expression. The catalytic activity of RNAP is highly regulated by signals in DNA and RNA and by extrinsic regulators that determine whether or not genes and operons are successfully transcribed. Befitting its importance in regulation, RNAP is a complex enzyme with multiple subunits and many moving parts. We seek to understand how different signals and regulators control RNAP activity. We study this both at a basic structure/function level by dissecting interactions and movements of the different parts of RNAP and at a cellular level by determining how regulators affect RNAP?s global distribution among and movement along genes and operons. Current projects in the lab take distinctly different approaches, ranging from genetics to biophysics, but all rely on each other for overall progress.