01:090:101 - Control of Gene Expression

Course Instructors

Dr. Andrew Vershon, (848) 445-2905
Dr. Janet Mead, (848) 445-4661

Course Description

The control of gene expression is one of the fundamental processes in all organisms and unregulated gene expression is often the cause for cancer and other diseases. Understanding how gene expression is regulated will help researchers develop mechanisms to combat disease. This course will discuss current research in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is being used to understand the process of gene regulation in eukaryotes. Students will get first hand laboratory research experience by performing experiments to isolate and analyze mutants in a protein that regulates transcription in yeast. Because of the nature of the experiments and protocols, some class periods may extend 15-30 minutes beyond 3:00 PM.

Lecture and Lab Schedule

WeekDiscussion Topic/Lab
1 Discussion: Course Introduction; Why is transcription important for biology and human diseases? Review of of the general process of transcription
Lab 1: Introduction, Learn to use pipetors

Discussion: Why do we work in yeast? Review of Yeast Biology. Types of Mutations
Lab 2: Sterile Technique, Plate mutagenized yeast

3 Discussion: Eukaryotic chromatin structure; Transcriptional silencing;
Lab 3: Streak colonies to screen for silencing assays 
4 Discussion: Genetic screen for transcriptional regulatory sites 
Lab 4: Analyze silencing - pick mutants to make ONs & sequence 
5 Discussion: Genetic screen for transcriptional regulatory proteins 
Lab 5: Spot assays 
6 Discussion: Hst1 vs Sir2: Repression vs silencing, PCR Mutagenesis and screen of the HST1:SIR2 chimera 
Lab 6: Streak colonies to screen for repression assays 
7 Discussion: Sequence analysis, 4-Peaks, FinchTV, Make a contig, Identify the mutants 
Lab 7: Perform filter lifts and LacZ assays
8 Discussion: Review of Sir2 structure; Structure modeling using CN3D or RasMol Results, problems and interpretations 
Lab 8: Analyze sequences, perform BLAST, map mutations on the structure
9 Discussion: Undergraduate research
Lab 9: Analyze sequences, perform BLAST, map mutations on the structure
10 Presentations: Presentation of data, Interpretation of the results Powerpoint file and one page 

Contact Us

Nelson Biological Laboratories

Nelson Biological Laboratories
604 Allison Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

P (732) 445-6251
F (732) 445-6186