Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

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Akua Yalley, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2008

Faculty Advisor: Lisa Cirillo, PhD

Mailing Address:
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-3548
USA

Email: aoduro@mcw.edu
Phone: (414) 955-5748
FAX: (414) 955-6517

 


Research Area: Chromatin remodeling in liver development and function


I seek to understand the role played by chromatin structure in the transcriptional regulation of liver genes. Specifically, I am looking at the role played by acetylated GATA-4 and FoxD3 in chromatin remodeling of liver genes. GATA-4 is a member of the GATA family of transcription factors which are characterized by two zinc fingers that are required for protein- protein interactions and also binding to the sequence (A/T)GATA(A/G). GATA transcription factors are critical for endoderm differentiation in mammals, worms and flies and GATA-4 is known as a pioneer factor due to its role in potentiating chromatin opening events in initially compacted chromatin. GATA-4 acetylation has been shown to increase DNA binding as well as transcriptional activity in the heart. Also GATA-1 acetylation has been shown to be critical for chromatin occupancy and erythroid differentiation. My goal is to examine the effects GATA-4 acetylation would have on occupancy of liver genes, chromatin remodeling of these genes as well as their transcriptional regulation and how important GATA-4 acetylation is in liver development. Both in vivo and in vitro techniques are utilized in this project.

FoxD3 is a member of the forkhead family of transcription factors that are characterized by their DNA binding domain having a helix-turn-helix core of three alpha helices, flanked by 2 wings. FoxD3 binds to the albumen enhancer in undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cells whereas other critical transcription factors are absent on this enhancer. We are investigating the hypothesis that FoxD3 is a pioneer factor and that it is acting as a place holder for FoxA1, another pioneer factor which is known to bind and open the alb enhancer. We are investigating the idea that FoxD3 binds to and opens chromatin since a FoxA1 binding site on the albumen enhancer is unmethylated in mouse embryonic stem cells despite the fact that FoxA1is not expressed in these cells. These as well as other possible functions would be investigated using both in vivo and in vitro techniques.


Training/Education
2002 Bsc University of Wisconsin- Whitewater
2008 PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison

Publications
Oduro, A. K., Fritsch, M. K., and Murdoch, F. E. (2008) chromatin context dominates estrogen regulation of ps2 gene expression. Experimental Cell Research 314, 2796-2810.

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