Eukaryotic gene expression by RNA polymerase II (pol II) requires the orchestration of a large number of factors during each stage of transcription. Proper gene regulation underlies organismal development, environmental response, and can be disrupted in disease. The goal of our lab is to determine the mechanisms of pol II transitions between initiation, elongation, and re-initiation, and its regulations in the context of chromatin, which we will accomplish through structural (cryo-EM and cross-linking mass spectrometry) and biochemical dissection of these macromolecular complexes.
The lab also aims to understand the mechanism of nucleotide excision repair (NER). The eukaryote genome is actively scanned for DNA damage through at least two independent mechanisms known as transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER) and global genomic nucleotide excision repair (GG-NER). In particular, we focus on the mechanism of how a set of factors serve dual functions in NER and transcription and how they are regulated.