Function of core promoters in differential gene regulation during embryogenesis

Gehrig, Jochen (2010). Function of core promoters in differential gene regulation during embryogenesis. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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The core promoter is the ultimate target of all transcriptional regulatory processes. The recently discovered diversity of core promoters and basal transcription factors suggests a regulatory role in differential gene expression. However, the direct contribution of the core promoter remains poorly understood. I investigated core promoters and their putative role in differential gene regulation using the zebrafish embryo as an in vivo model system. To analyse the functional requirement for the general transcription factor TATA-box binding protein (TBP), a diverse set of promoters was tested for their TBP dependence. This analysis revealed a differential requirement of TBP for promoter activity. To further explore the roles of core promoters the ability of various core promoters to interact with tissue-specific enhancers was investigated. A high-throughput pipeline combining automated imaging with custom-designed software for registration of spatial reporter gene activity in thousands of zebrafish embryos was developed. The technology was applied in a large-scale screen analysing the tissue specific activities of 202 enhancer - core promoter combinations. A variety of interaction specificities observed suggests an important role of the core promoter in combinatorial gene regulation. Overall, these findings indicate that the core promoter significantly contributes to differential transcriptional regulation in the vertebrate embryo.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics


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