Elisa Izaurralde Memorial Lecture | April 22, 2022

Date and time of the event: April 22, 2022 | 3:00 pm CEST | online

Artwork of Elisa Izaurralde

The Elisa Izaurralde Memorial Lectures are a succession of lectures in memory of the former director at the Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen (2005-2018) and of her achievements in the fields of RNA biology and post-transcriptional gene regulation.


Talk title:

“How genes are switched on” 


Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer
Director at the MPI for Multidisciplinary Sciences


Whereas the laboratory of Elisa Izaurralde studied mechanisms of how genes are switched off (silenced), our laboratory concentrates on the question how genes are switched on, i.e. how they are activated by transcription. To uncover the molecular mechanisms that underlie gene transcription and its regulation in eukaryotic cells we combine structural biology with functional genomics. Recent work includes the high-resolution structure of the human transcription initiation complex containing RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and the cofactor Mediator, of Pol II elongation complexes in paused, active and pre-termination states, and of Pol II complexes with parts of the spliceosome and the DNA repair machinery. We have recently also shown how various accessory factors assist Pol II to pass through nucleosomes and thereby enable chromatin transcription. In my presentation I will provide an overview of our present work and then focus on unpublished work from the laboratory before providing an outlook based on open questions. It emerges that, at least in outline, a mechanistic understanding of regulated gene transcription is now available, whereas the cellular context remains to be better explored.


To register for this event please write an email to: presse-bio(at)tuebingen.mpg.de