Transcription is a biological process that plays a central role in normal development and homeostasis in multicellular organisms. Transcription factors that bind promoter elements of genes with high affinity and sequence specificity are essential regulators. My laboratory has a longstanding interest in the ETS family of regulatory transcription factors that share DNA binding properties (Gunther et al. 1990; Nye et al. 1992; Graves and Petersen 1998) and function as repressors or activators of gene expression. This metazoan gene family includes 27 human paralogs. My research program has taken a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the biology and biochemistry of ETS proteins in normal development and human disease.
The overarching question of our lab is how members of the ETS family of transcription factors achieve specificity within biological regulation.
Two types of specificity are being studied:
1) The control of promoter selection that would specify the match of each ETS protein to particular target genes.
2) How the function of ETS proteins has diverged such that each has unique properties.