|Dr. Dvir's Research: Molecular Mechanisms of Gene Transcription|
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Tools of Research
Transcription research in Dr. Dvir's laboratory is conducted exclusively by performing cell-free experiments. Purified RNA Polymerase II and essential transcription factors are combined with template-DNA containing a strong gene-promoter. Under these conditions, the contribution of individual components to the transcription reaction can be carefully and reliably analyzed. Ribonucleotides, the building blocks for mRNA synthesis, are radiolabeled with 32P to facilitate transcript detection. These are separated by gel-electrophoresis and analyzed by autoradiography. To "get the picture" of what goes on in the transcription complex when the polymerase synthesizes mRNA, a wide range of reagents, artificial perturbations, and modification is applied to elements of the experiment. By combining the information obtained in these experiments, we can better understand the principles that govern the process of gene transcription and gene regulation. Below we describe our basic transcription experiment and some of the tools used in our research.
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