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Gene Silencing and Activation
I am interested in gene silencing, whether it is silencing across an entire chromosome as in mammalian X chromosome inactivation or specific genes on a chromosome such as the silent bgl operon in E. coli. I have characterized a new gene, bglJ, which results in bgl expression. Students in my lab discover and clone new genes involved in silencing for their independent study projects. Currently, we are working on six new regions of the chromosome containing uncharacterized silencers. We work with BglJ and other activators as well as with silencers such as H-NS. We use a variety of genetic and molecular approaches including mutational analysis, PCR, cloning, two-hybrid analysis, and enzyme assays. We carry out massive hunts for new genes involved in silencing and then characterize their functions.
* denotes Simmons students
Nora Erickson*, Jenna C. Phipps*, Jane Lopilato, and Jennifer A. Roecklein-Canfield. 2002. Purification of the Escherichia coli antisilencer protein BglJ by the GST fusion system. Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research1(3):131-136.
N. Aktar, H.Hagan, J.E. Lopilato, and A.H. Corbett. 2001. Functional analysis of the yeast Ran exchange factor, Prp20p: In vivo evidence for the RanGTP gradient model. Mol. Genet. Genomics 265:851-864.
Lopilato, J., M. Giel*, and M. Desnoyer*. 1996. A mutation in a new gene, bglJ, activates the bgl operon in E. coli K-12. Genetics 143:627-635.
Lopilato, J., N. Napolitano*, K. Michaels*, and K. Ottina. 1993. A bglJ mutation activates the expression of the cryptic bgl operon in E. coli K-12. J. Cell. Biochem. 17E:299
O'Day, K., J. Lopilato, and A. Wright. 1991. Physical Locations of bglA and serA on the Escherichia coli K-12 Chromosome. J. Bacteriol. 173:1571.
Lopilato, J. and A. Wright. 1990. Mechanisms of activation of the cryptic bgl operon of Escherichia coli K-12. p. 435-444. In M. Riley and K. Drlica (ed.), The Bacterial Chromosome. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C.
Lopilato, J., S. Bortner, and J. Beckwith. 1986. Mutations in a new chromosomal gene of Escherichia coli K-12, pcnB, reduce plasmid copy number of pBR322 and its derivatives. Mol. Gen. Genet. 205:285-290.
Wilson, T.H., T. Tsuchiya, J. Lopilato, and K. Ottina. 1980. The cation specificity for the melibiose transport system of E. coli. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 341:465-472.
Ottina, K., J. Lopilato, and T.H. Wilson. 1978. Membrane transport of p-nitrophenyl-a-galactoside by the melibiose carrier of Escherichia coli. J. Membrane Biol. 56:169-175.
Tsuchiya, T., J. Lopilato, and T.H. Wilson. 1978. Effect of lithium ion on melibiose transport in Escherichia coli. J. Membrane Biol. 42:45-59.
Lopilato, J., T. Tsuchiya, and T.H. Wilson. 1978. Role of Na+ and Li+ in thiomethylgalactoside transport by the melibiose transport system of Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 134:147-156.
Tsuchiya, T., S.M. Hasan, and J. Raven. 1977. Glutamate transport driven by an electrochemical gradient of sodium ions in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 131:848-853.
Tsuchiya, T., J. Raven, and T.H. Wilson. 1977. Co-transport of Na+ and methyl--D-thio-galactopyranoside mediated by the melibiose transport system of Escherichia coli. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 76:26-31.