Brian A. Lewis, Ph.D.

Brian A. Lewis, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Laboratory of Pathology


I am interested in the regulation of transcription by RNA pol II in humans. I apply a variety of approaches to this very large, complex and important problem. The central resource of the research is a novel cell-free in vitro transcription system that recapitulates pol II pausing. This system allows me to dissect the regulation of pausing and elongation and identify the protein machinery involved in these processes. This is supported with in vivo approaches, such as shRNA depletions and small molecule inhibitors, that target this machinery in cells. A more recent addition to this toolbox is the development of an in vivo transcription assay based on 4sU-labeling of nascent RNA. These tools will allow me to expand our understanding of pol II pausing and elongation, as it is essential in order to understand the MYC oncoprotein function in stimulating pol II elongation.

Areas of Expertise

1) transcription, 2) protein purification, 3) molecular biology, 4) biochemistry


Selected Recent Publications

O-GlcNAcase Is an RNA Polymerase II Elongation Factor Coupled to Pausing Factors SPT5 and TIF1β

Resto M, Kim BH, Fernandez AG, Abraham BJ, Zhao K, Lewis BA.
J Biol Chem. 291(43): 22703-22713, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Human RNA Polymerase II Promoter Recruitment in Vitro Is Regulated by O-Linked N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferase (OGT)

Lewis BA, Burlingame AL, Myers SA.
J Biol Chem. 291(27): 14056-61, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

O-GlcNAc and the epigenetic regulation of gene expression

Lewis BA, Hanover JA.
J Biol Chem. 289(50): 34440-8, 2014. [ Journal Article ]

O-GlcNAcylation at promoters, nutrient sensors, and transcriptional regulation

Lewis BA.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 1829(11): 1202-6, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

Evidence of the involvement of O-GlcNAc-modified human RNA polymerase II CTD in transcription in vitro and in vivo

Ranuncolo SM, Ghosh S, Hanover JA, Hart GW, Lewis BA.
J Biol Chem. 287(28): 23549-61, 2012. [ Journal Article ]