transcriptional regulation in chlamydia

chlamydia infected cellsThe Tan lab
focuses on the intracellular bacterium, Chlamydia and how the organism regulates the expression of its genes to cause disease.

Using molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics approaches, we have been studying the components involved in transcriptional regulation of gene expression, including RNA polymerase, the promoter structure that polymerase recognizes, and cis-acting DNA elements and trans-acting factors that modulate promoter activity.

In particular, we are interested in how transcription factors, such as activators and repressors, and alternative RNA polymerase can coordinately regulate subsets of genes in response to environmental and metabolic signals. We are also studying how DNA supercoiling can function on a global level to regulate gene expression both at the level of promoter activity and transcriptional regulation. In addition to these gene expression studies, we are examining the effect of antimicrobial peptides against Chlamydia as an approach to develop new antichlamydial antibiotics.