Widom, whose research focused on chromatin packaging and gene regulation, and Segal, a computational biologist, continued their studies on sequence preferences for nucleosome formation as part of a project funded by Northwestern's Physical Sciences-Oncology Center.
Widom directed the center until his untimely death last year and was the William Deering Professor of Molecular Biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Segal has been a member of the center since its inception in 2009.
"This new work of Jon Widom's lab, reported in Nature, adds greatly to the ability to measure the locations of nucleosomes with unprecedented accuracy, which is needed to decipher the code in the DNA as reported in our two recent papers," Segal said.
In the papers by the Segal group, one in Nature Genetics and the other in Nature Biotechnology, Segal and his colleagues developed an elegant experimental system that allows them to accurately measure the effects of DNA sequences that disfavor the formation of nucleosomes on transcriptional regulation.
The new technology makes it possible to simultaneously introduce tens of thousands of DNA regions into tens of thousands of living cells -- each region in a separate cell -- in a planned and systematic manner, and to measure the results of each such change with great precision and within a single experiment.
Using this system, the Segal group demonstrated that sequences favoring the formation of nucleosomes do indeed have a significantly negative impact on transcription. Transcription is the copying of specific sequences in the DNA into similar molecules called RNA,
|Contact: Megan Fellman|