- Associate Professor
- Co-Director of UPBM
Office Hours: By appointment
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.
- 1998. Specific local histone-DNA sequence contacts facilitate high-affinity, non-cooperative nucleosome binding of both Adf-1 and GAGA factor.Nucl. Acids Res26: 5394-5401.
- 1997. Multiple isoforms of GAGA factor, a critical component of chromatin structure.Nucl. Acids Res25: 3345-3353.
- 1993. DNA-histone interactions are sufficient to position a nucleosome that may facilitate Drosophila Adh distal promoter-adult enhancer interactions.Nucl. Acids Res21: 957-967.
- 1993. Activation and repression of Drosophila alcohol dehydrogenase distal transcription by two steroid hormone receptor superfamily members binding to a common response element.Nucl. Acids Res21: 1619-1627.
- 1992. In vivo stage- and tissue-specific DNA-protein interactions at the D. melanogaster alcohol dehydrogenase distal promoter and adult enhancer.Nucl. Acids Res20: 5413-5422.
- 1992. Characterization and purification of Adh distal promoter factor 2, Adf-2, a cell-specific and promoter-specific repressor in Drosophila.Nucl. Acids Res20: 4481-4489.
- 1992. The binding site of a steroid hormone receptor-like protein within the Drosophila Adh adult enhancer is required for the high levels of tissue-specific alcohol dehydrogenase expression.Mol.Cell Biol12: 661-673.
- 1990. Conserved enhancer and silencer elements responsible for differential Adh transcription in Drosphila cell lines.Mol. Cell Biol10: 3512-3523.
- 1990. Alternative DNA-protein interactions in variable-length internucleosomal regions associated with Drosophila Adh distal promoter expression.Nucl. Acids Res18: 1771-1786.