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Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression

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Overview

The research program in the Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression concerns the elucidation of mechanisms involved in the regulation of genetic expression in eukaryotic cells, and the identification of genes and regulatory processes involved in modulated states of expression during oncogenesis. Particular consideration is given to the study of the steroid/thyroid/RAR superfamily of nuclear receptors (Hormone Action and Oncogenesis Section [HAO], Signal Transduction Group). A special emphasis is placed on the function of these hormone-dependent regulators in the context of chromatin and higher-order nuclear structure. The laboratory has made major contributions to the general hypothesis that the modification of chromatin structure is an important component of gene regulation by steroid receptors and other transactivators.

The laboratory is expanding into the general area of nuclear structure and gene function. A major recent advance was the development of fluorescent chimeric receptor proteins that allow study of nuclear receptor subcellular trafficking and gene targeting in living cells (HAO Section). A high-resolution imaging facility is under development (Fluorescence Imaging Group) and a new research group (Cell Biology of Gene Expression Group) has been recruited. The imaging facility will support investigations into subcellular and intranuclear compartmentalization, particularly in living cells. It is anticipated that state-of-the-art technologies, including confocal and digital imaging microscopy, will be available. Also, a new investigator who is an expert in the application of scanning force microscopy to chromatin structure has joined the lab.

The lab also supports efforts in studies on the transcriptional regulation of human retroviruses, including HTLV-1 and HIV (Virus Tumor Biology Section). The interaction of viral regulatory proteins HTLV-1 Tax and HIV Tat with cellular targets is a major focus of these efforts.

This page was last updated on 3/5/2014.