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Transcriptional Regulation


Regulating transcription (i.e., the synthesis of an RNA sequence derived from a DNA template) is the fundamental process by which nature controls the early stages of gene expression, and ultimately cellular function. The selective recognition of double-stranded DNA sequences by transcription factors is used by cells to respond to environmental changes, regulating which genes are switched on or off, and is used to control differentiation from one cell type into another. Dysregulation of transcription is also a prominent feature of many neurodegenerative disease and cancer.  An enduring challenge in drug discovery is the design of synthetic transcription factors that correct aberrant transcription – i.e., turn on or off – of diseased genes. The group is developing a new generation of synthetic transcription factors that selectively recognise DNA sequences and modulate the expression of target genes.

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