Cheeptip Benyajati

Associate Professor

Contact Information:

University of Rochester
Department of Biology

River Campus Box 270211
Rochester, New York 14627-0211

Hutchison 474

(585) 275-8040

Research Overview

Dr. Benyajati is interested in studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate differential gene expression during development using the Drosophila alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) gene as the model system. Adh is transcribed from 2 tandem promoters ~700 bp apart, each has distinct developmental- and tissue-specific patterns, and each is regulated by a distinct enhancer. Chromatin footprinting has shown that stage- and tissue-specific transcription initiation from the Adh distal promoter involves a coordinated assembly of a multiprotein complex interacting with specific cis-acting sequences at the distal promoter, at the enhancer of distal promoter (AAE), and at a single nucleosome precisely positioned between these 2 regulatory regions. Current research goals are to investigate the mechanisms by which interactions of cis-regulatory sequences with sequence-specific trans-acting proteins in situ in chromatin effect the chromatin remodeling and the transcriptional regulation of Adh. Experimental approaches are to characterize individual protein components of the multiprotein complex and to assemble individual chromatin complexes from purified components for structural and transcriptional analysis.

Figure1

Modulation of chromatin structure and DNA-protein interactions at the Adh distal promoter and the enhancer of distal promoter in vivo.

Selected Publications