How is stem cell-specific transcriptional regulation encoded into the genome?
For multicellular organisms, there are thousands, perhaps even millions, of different cell-types, which contribute to the vast variety of functions that must be performed. However, every cell is genetically identical, having arisen from one single cell. To achieve this immense diversity of cell-type, the genome is utilized differently in each cell to express the unique set of genes necessary for its function. While there many mechanisms to regulate gene expression, our lab is focused on how gene expression is ultimately encoded into the genome. We search for genomic sequences that contribute to cell-type specific transcription and analyze how those are read and interpreted by proteins in the cell. Currently, we are focused on the regulation of key genes for the identity and function of stem cells.