Development and disease are controlled, to a large degree, by regions of genomic DNA called enhancers that encode binding sites for transcription factor proteins. Binding of activators and repressors increase and reduce gene expression levels, respectively, but it is not understood how combinations of activators and repressors generate precise patterns of transcription during development. Towards this aim, we have developed high-throughput methods to dissect transcriptional enhancers to understand their role in determining patterns of gene expression in the fruit fly, a classic model system.
In this GEN webinar, we explore the role of enhancer architecture on gene expression by creating synthetic networks for pattern formation. This work takes advantage of new genome engineering technologies, synthetic biology, high-throughput robotics, and cutting-edge single-molecule imaging techniques in live embryos, creating a cross-cutting approach to developmental systems biology. Moreover, we will learn how gene expression patterns are controlled during animal development and disease, in addition to new approaches to understanding how animals respond to rapid environmental changes.