The interface between signaling, chromatin, and transcription
DNA is packaged in the nucleus of a cell into chromatin. As chromatin blocks the accessibility of cis regulatory elements, it can inhibit cellular processes which utilize DNA as a substrate including transcription, replication, DNA damage repair, and recombination. To contend with repressive chromatin, cells utilize remodeling complexes which mobilize nucleosomes and allow factor accessibility. Remodeling complexes require the cooperative activity of individual protein subunits to achieve maximum specificity and full function. To gain further insight into the specific functions of chromatin remodeling complexes, we study the ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex RSC (Remodels the Structure of Chromatin) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This work describes the characterization of two RSC subunits, Rsc7 and Rsc14, and the identification of a yeast-specific functional module in RSC. This work serves to broaden our understanding of RSC function as it strengthens/identifies links between RSC and many cellular processes. In a separate study, we examine the transcriptional regulation of RNA polymerase III genes by Maf1. This work provides important insight into Maf1 dephosphorylation as a switch for regulating repressing RNA polymerase III genes.