Deciphering mechanisms of transcription regulation and their role in the biological embedding of experience
Presented by: Dr Maria Aristizabal
November 19th at 12:30pm EST
Transcription is essential for life and in eukaryotes it is performed by one of several RNA polymerases (RNAP). Of these, RNAPII is responsible for the synthesis of all mRNAs and many non-coding transcripts, an activity that requires the integration of general and gene-specific signals. However, how these activities are coordinated and contribute to the response to environmental contexts remains poorly understood, despite a clear significance in the adaptation, health and survival of all organisms. Furthermore, the extent to which genetic variability affects transcription and thus modulates individual differences in the response to challenge is unclear. In this presentation, I will discuss two distinct but interconnected projects examining the molecular mechanisms by which organism respond to nutritional information. The first project leverages the unique advantages of the yeast model system and focuses on Cdk8, the kinase subunit of the Mediator transcription co-activator complex. Here, I focus on a new kinase-substrate relationship that directly linked Cdk8 to the regulation of metabolism. The second project uses fruit flies and shows that the response to nutritional stimulus is sex-specific.