Dr. Lori Pile

 

Education

  • Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Cincinnati Medical School, 1998
  • Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, 1998-2003
  • Joined WSU faculty, 2004

 

Research Interests

Chromatin Structure and Gene Transcription

The research interests of this lab are to understand the mechanisms of eukaryotic gene regulation. Transcription is under direct control of chromatin condensation levels. Nucleosomal histones undergo a variety of modifications, including acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation, which in turn influence chromatin condensation.

The proposed histone code theory suggests that existing histone modifications affect subsequent modifications and that a set of particular modifications serves as a recognition signal for the binding of protein factors that in turn influence chromatin structure and gene transcription.

Histone acetylation levels have long been correlated with transcription levels. Nucleosomes near active genes have been shown to have hyperacetylated histones while those located at inactive genes contain hypoacetylated histones. Mutations in protein regulators of histone acetylation are associated with alterations in gene transcription linked to human cancer and a number of neurodegenerative disorders. The SIN3 complex is a histone deacetylase that is required for general transcription repression.

The long term goals of this lab are to examine the role of the SIN3 complex in the establishment and/or maintenance of histone acetylation patterns involved in regulation of genes required for cell proliferation and Drosophila development and viability. Current objectives of the lab are to understand regulatory pathways that affect SIN3 activity and to understand the consequences of SIN3 recruitment at a diverse set of gene promoters. We are using molecular, genetic and biochemical techniques to further elucidate the role of SIN3 and the regulation of histone acetylation on transcription. A more complete understanding of a complex involved in the regulated control of histone acetylation will provide insight into the relationship between histone modification, chromatin structure and gene transcription throughout development.

 

For a list of current projects, see the Research tab.

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