The Role of Cdk9 in Transcription
(De rol van Cdk9 in transcriptie)
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The original thesis project was designed to follow up the observation by Natalia Meier that Cdk9 was part of the Ldb1 complex in erythroid cells and that its knock‐down in zebrafish led to a hematopoietic phenotype (Meier et al. 2006). The Ldb1 complex was thought to be involved in the long range interactions between regulatory regions and target genes and it was therefore very interesting that one of its interaction components was the kinase Cdk9, which phosphorylates the initiated RNA polymerase II. This is one of the major control steps of transcription after pausing of the initiated RNAPII in the promoter‐proximal region. It is therefore important to understand how Cdk9 is recruited to gene promoters and what factors are involved in the recruitment process. The latter is an essential part of our studies to understand how transcription is organized in the nuclear space. This is still an area of much controversy and lack of knowledge with basically two opposing views. One view supports the classical model whereby transcription of genes occurs individually. The other view holds that transcription of different genes takes place in shared sites of transcription, called “transcription factories”.
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