Signal Specificity and Epigenetic Regulation


Wednesdays@NICO Seminar, Noon, April 28 2010, Chambers Hall, Lower Level

Prof. Su Zhao, University of California, Irvine


Extensive interconnections and component sharing exist among different signal transduction pathways in many biology systems. How does a cell transmit different inputs to desirable outputs achieving signal specificity? Using both experimental and computational approaches, we have analyzed maintenance of pathway specificity in S. Cerevisiae through a cross-pathway inhibition, and found two mechanisms for a peculiar regulation from the cross-pathway inhibition on the desirable output. Epigenetics is the study of inherited changes in phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. The failure of epigenetic inheritance can alter cell and developmental pathways, resulting in new phenotypes including disease. Motivated by our recent experimental data, I shall present a preliminary modeling study on how epigenetic regulation may affect cell fate switching.