Gene regulation

Participants: Zhizhuo Zhang, Vipin, Guoliang Li, Wing-Kin Sung


The process of controlling the expression of genes is known as gene regulation. Gene regulation dictates when, where (in what tissue(s)), and how much of a particular protein is produced. This decides the development of cells and their responses to external stimuli. The most direct control mechanism is transcription regulation, which controls whether the transcription process of a gene should be initiated. In eukaryotic cells, RNA-polymerase II is responsible for the transcription process. However, it is incapable of initiating transcription on its own. It does so with the assistance of a number of DNA-binding proteins called transcription factors (TFs). TFs bind the DNA sequence and interact to form a pre-initiation complex (PIC). RNA-polymerase II is recruited in the PIC, and then the transcription begins. The crucial point of the regulation mechanism is the binding of TFs to DNA. Disruptions in gene regulation are often linked to a failure of TF binding, either due to mutation of the DNA binding site, or due to mutation of the TF itself.

Due to the advance of next generation sequencing, a number of techniques have been developed for studying gene regulation. They include ChIP-seq, ChIA-PET, Hi-C, etc.


In this project, we will develop computational tools for analyzing the next generation sequencing data. We also will collaborate with biologists to make new biological discovery. More precisely, we have the following subprojects.


Selected Publications

Last updated: 30/12/2015, Wing-Kin Sung.