Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology - University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Host: Gustavo MacIntosh
“Cu-binding Transcription Factors: Fundamental Players in Skeletal Muscle Differentiation”
Transition metals, such as copper (Cu), play critical roles in biology as cofactors for a variety of enzymes that are necessary for energy production, tissue maturation, signal transduction and oxidative stress resistance. Metal homeostasis requires chelation by high-affinity binding molecules, transport and sensing by transcriptional regulators to maintain low levels of free metals, as free metals participate in different toxic reactions. In this regard, Cu-binding transcription factors have been extensively described in their classic roles in metal homeostasis. However, little information is available regarding the role of Cu and Cu-binding transcription factors in the regulation of gene expression associated with development and differentiation of mammalian cells. Our laboratory uses skeletal muscle differentiation as a model system to investigate the under-appreciated role of Cu, in mechanisms that initiate new programs of gene expression required for tissue specification.