Structure of Escherichia coli H-NS and mixed H-NS filaments and their effect on transcription elongation by RNA polymerase
How DNA is organized in a cell affects what and how genes are expressed and vice versa. In E. coli, many proteins affect this balance, including an abundant DNA-binding protein called H-NS. In the lab of Professor Bob Landick, Beth Shen investigated this protein’s structure and how it regulates gene expression for her Ph.D. In studying the structure, she found individual H-NS proteins can organize into long complexes on DNA in a regular pattern. These complexes form on specific DNA sequences in E. coli so that H-NS can silence those genes. She also unraveled how other proteins can change the structure of the H-NS complexes which affects how H-NS can regulate gene expression. During graduate school, a review she wrote on this topic was recently published in the Journal of Molecular Biology.
To learn more about her work, attend her Thesis Review at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19 in Room 1420 of the Microbial Sciences Building.