We study the mechanism of eukaryotic gene expression using the yeast
Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system. Biochemical, molecular, and
genetic techniques are used to study the basal and regulatory transcription
factors required for proper RNA polymerase II transcription initiation and termination. We also study mRNA modifications such as capping and polyadenylation. We have shown that coupling of these processes with transcription is mediated by the association of various enzymes with different phosphorylated forms of RNA polymerase II. More recently, we have been studying how this phosphorylation system sets up a characteristic pattern of histone methylation on genes. We study the downstream effects of these histone modifications on gene expression. Importantly, many of the enzymes involved in these processes turn out to be mutated in human cancers.