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64 Publications

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    Tjian Lab
    05/01/04 | Regulatory diversity among metazoan co-activator complexes.
    Taatjes DJ, Marr MT, Tjian R
    Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology. 2004 May;5(5):403-10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Transcription is a stepwise process that involves many specialized proteins and protein complexes, all of which must work together to express a given gene in a spatially and temporally regulated manner. An integral step in this regulatory process is carried out by large, multisubunit co-activator complexes, which have diverse roles in transcriptional control. Their diversity and large size allows for many potential regulatory inputs, but how is the versatility and specificity of these co-activator complexes determined?

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    Tjian Lab
    01/13/04 | Myc-interacting protein 1 target gene profile: a link to microtubules, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and cell growth.
    Ziegelbauer J, Wei J, Tjian R
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2004 Jan 13;101(2):458-63. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    To study the role of the transcription factor Myc-interacting protein 1 (MIZ-1) in activating various target genes after induction with the microtubule disrupting agent T113242, we have used small interfering RNA duplexes (siRNAs) to knockdown the expression of MIZ-1. As expected, depletion of MIZ-1 resulted in the inhibition of T113242-dependent activation of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene in hepatocytes. Cells transfected with MIZ-1 siRNAs also exhibited growth arrest. In addition, inhibition of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway inhibited T113242-induced nuclear accumulation of MIZ-1 and activation of LDLR. Gene expression microarray analysis under various induction conditions identified other T113242-activated genes affected by a decrease in MIZ-1 and inhibition of the ERK pathway. We also found that the accumulation of MIZ-1 in the nucleus is influenced by cell-cell contact and/or growth. Taken together, our studies suggest that MIZ-1 regulates a specific set of genes that includes LDLR and that the ERK pathway plays a role in the activation of target promoters by MIZ-1.

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    Tjian Lab
    08/15/03 | Control of cell number by Drosophila FOXO: downstream and feedback regulation of the insulin receptor pathway.
    Puig O, Marr MT, Ruhf ML, Tjian R
    Genes & Development. 2003 Aug 15;17(16):2006-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    The Drosophila insulin receptor (dInR) regulates cell growth and proliferation through the dPI3K/dAkt pathway, which is conserved in metazoan organisms. Here we report the identification and functional characterization of the Drosophila forkhead-related transcription factor dFOXO, a key component of the insulin signaling cascade. dFOXO is phosphorylated by dAkt upon insulin treatment, leading to cytoplasmic retention and inhibition of its transcriptional activity. Mutant dFOXO lacking dAkt phosphorylation sites no longer responds to insulin inhibition, remains in the nucleus, and is constitutively active. dFOXO activation in S2 cells induces growth arrest and activates two key players of the dInR/dPI3K/dAkt pathway: the translational regulator d4EBP and the dInR itself. Induction of d4EBP likely leads to growth inhibition by dFOXO, whereas activation of dInR provides a novel transcriptionally induced feedback control mechanism. Targeted expression of dFOXO in fly tissues regulates organ size by specifying cell number with no effect on cell size. Our results establish dFOXO as a key transcriptional regulator of the insulin pathway that modulates growth and proliferation.

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    Tjian Lab
    07/10/03 | Transcription regulation and animal diversity.
    Levine M, Tjian R
    Nature. 2003 Jul 10;424:147-51. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Whole-genome sequence assemblies are now available for seven different animals, including nematode worms, mice and humans. Comparative genome analyses reveal a surprising constancy in genetic content: vertebrate genomes have only about twice the number of genes that invertebrate genomes have, and the increase is primarily due to the duplication of existing genes rather than the invention of new ones. How, then, has evolutionary diversity arisen? Emerging evidence suggests that organismal complexity arises from progressively more elaborate regulation of gene expression.

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    Tjian Lab
    06/01/03 | Diversified transcription initiation complexes expand promoter selectivity and tissue-specific gene expression.
    Hochheimer A, Tjian R
    Genes & Development. 2003 Jun 1;17(11):1309-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108
    Tjian Lab
    06/01/03 | Targeting genes and transcription factors to segregated nuclear compartments.
    Isogai Y, Tjian R
    Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2003 Jun;15(3):296-303. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    With increasingly detailed images of nuclear structures revealed by advanced microscopy, a remarkably compartmentalized cell nucleus has come into focus. Although this complex nuclear organization remains largely unexplored, some progress has been made in deciphering the functional aspects of various subnuclear structures, revealing how this elaborate framework can influence gene activation. Several recent studies have helped illustrate how cells might utilize the nuclear architecture as an additional level of transcriptional control, perhaps by targeting genes and regulatory factors to specific sites within the nucleus that are designated for active RNA synthesis.

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    Tjian Lab
    02/01/03 | Bromodomains mediate an acetyl-histone encoded antisilencing function at heterochromatin boundaries.
    Ladurner AG, Inouye C, Jain R, Tjian R
    Molecular Cell. 2003 Feb;11(2):365-76. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Bromodomains bind acetylated histone H4 peptides in vitro. Since many chromatin remodeling complexes and the general transcription factor TFIID contain bromodomains, they may link histone acetylation to increased transcription. Here we show that yeast Bdf1 bromodomains recognize endogenous acetyl-histone H3/H4 as a mechanism for chromatin association in vivo. Surprisingly, deletion of BDF1 or a Bdf1 mutation that abolishes histone binding leads to transcriptional downregulation of genes located at heterochromatin-euchromatin boundaries. Wild-type Bdf1 protein imposes a physical barrier to the spreading of telomere- and mating-locus-proximal SIR proteins. Biochemical experiments indicate that Bdf1 competes with the Sir2 deacetylase for binding to acetylated histone H4. These data suggest an active role for Bdf1 in euchromatin maintenance and antisilencing through a histone tail-encoded boundary function.

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    Tjian Lab
    01/10/03 | Regulating the regulators: lysine modifications make their mark.
    Freiman RN, Tjian R
    Cell. 2003 Jan 10;112(1):11-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Decades of research have uncovered much of the molecular machinery responsible for establishing and maintaining proper gene transcription patterns in eukaryotes. Although the composition of this machinery is largely known, mechanisms regulating its activity by covalent modification are just coming into focus. Here, we review several cases of ubiquitination, sumoylation, and acetylation that link specific covalent modification of the transcriptional apparatus to their regulatory function. We propose that potential cascades of modifications serve as molecular rheostats that fine-tune the control of transcription in diverse organisms.

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    Tjian Lab
    11/28/02 | TRF2 associates with DREF and directs promoter-selective gene expression in Drosophila.
    Hochheimer A, Zhou S, Zheng S, Holmes MC, Tjian R
    Nature. 2002 Nov 28;420(6914):439-45. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Drosophila TATA-box-binding protein (TBP)-related factor 2 (TRF2) is a member of a family of TBP-related factors present in metazoan organisms. Recent evidence suggests that TRF2s are required for proper embryonic development and differentiation. However, true target promoters and the mechanisms by which TRF2 operates to control transcription remain elusive. Here we report the antibody affinity purification of a Drosophila TRF2-containing complex that contains components of the nucleosome remodelling factor (NURF) chromatin remodelling complex as well as the DNA replication-related element (DRE)-binding factor DREF. This latter finding led us to potential target genes containing TRF2-responsive promoters. We have used a combination of in vitro and in vivo assays to show that the DREF-containing TRF2 complex directs core promoter recognition of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) gene. We also identified additional TRF2-responsive target genes involved in DNA replication and cell proliferation. These data suggest that TRF2 functions as a core promoter-selectivity factor responsible for coordinating transcription of a subset of genes in Drosophila.

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    Tjian Lab
    09/01/02 | Redundant role of tissue-selective TAF(II)105 in B lymphocytes.
    Freiman RN, Albright SR, Chu LE, Zheng S, Liang H, Sha WC, Tjian R
    Molecular and Cellular Biology. 2002 Sep;22(18):6564-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Regulated gene expression is a complex process achieved through the function of multiple protein factors acting in concert at a given promoter. The transcription factor TFIID is a central component of the machinery regulating mRNA synthesis by RNA polymerase II. This large multiprotein complex is composed of the TATA box binding protein (TBP) and several TBP-associated factors (TAF(II)s). The recent discovery of multiple TBP-related factors and tissue-specific TAF(II)s suggests the existence of specialized TFIID complexes that likely play a critical role in regulating transcription in a gene- and tissue-specific manner. The tissue-selective factor TAF(II)105 was originally identified as a component of TFIID derived from a human B-cell line. In this report we demonstrate the specific induction of TAF(II)105 in cultured B cells in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To examine the in vivo role of TAF(II)105, we have generated TAF(II)105-null mice by homologous recombination. Here we show that B-lymphocyte development is largely unaffected by the absence of TAF(II)105. TAF(II)105-null B cells can proliferate in response to LPS, produce relatively normal levels of resting antibodies, and can mount an immune response by producing antigen-specific antibodies in response to immunization. Taken together, we conclude that the function of TAF(II)105 in B cells is likely redundant with the function of other TAF(II)105-related cellular proteins.

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