Jeff De Jong

Associate Professor - Biological Sciences
Tags: Molecular Biology Cell Biology Biology

Professional Preparation

- Molecular Biology
Rockefeller University - 1995
Ph.D. - Biochemistry
Pennsylvania State University - 1990
B.A. - Biology
University of Missouri-Columbia - 1984

Research Areas

Research Interests
In order for a gene to be expressed, a preinitiation complex composed of RNA polymerase II, general transcription factors (GTFs) TFIIA, -B, -D, -E, -F, and –H, and other factors must be assembled.  The level of RNA produced is then determined by the action of gene-specific transcriptional activators or repressors and their associated cofactors.   One step in the assembly of a preinitiation complex is the recognition of core promoter DNA. This step is the primary responsibility of a family of TBP related factors including TBP, TRF1, TRF2, and TRF3. The interactions of these factors with DNA is assisted by TFIIA and ALF, and their stability is an important determinant of the rate of transcription.   Results from this lab and others have shown that distinct types of core promoter and DNA packaging factors are expressed in reproductive tissues of humans, mice, and frogs. These observations suggest there are three distinct transcription environments—somatic, spermatogenic, and oogenic—each with their own collection of core promoter factors. Further differences in the phylogenetic distribution of individual germ cell transcription factors suggest these systems are adapted to species-specific variations in reproductive physiology. Overall, the expression of transcription factor variants in reproductive tissues is believed to be important for male- or female-specific patterns of gene expression and for completion of gametogenesis. Current work in the laboratory continues to explore connections between the biochemical mechanisms of transcription, the biology of germ cells, and reproductive health.


Upadyhaha, A.B. and DeJong J. Expression of human TFIIA subunits in S. cerevisiae identifies regions with conserved and species-specific functions. Biochemica Biophysica Acta (in press). 2010 - Publication
Upadhyaya, A., Khan, M., Mou, T.-C., Junker, M., Gray, D.M., and DeJong, J. (2002) The germ cell-specific transcription factor ALF: Structural properties and stabilization of TBP-DNA complexes. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 34208-34216. 2002 - Publication
Xie, W., Han, S.Y., Khan,M., and DeJong, J. (2002) Regulation of ALF gene exprssion in somatic and male germ line tissues involves partial and site-specific patterns of methylation. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 17765-17774. 2002 - Publication
Han, S.Y., Zhou, L.P., Upadhyaya, A., Lee, S.H., Parker, K.L., and DeJong, J. (2001) TFIIAa/b-like Factor (ALF) is encoded by a germ cell-speific gene whose expression is upregulated with other general transcription factors during spermatogenesis in mouse. Biol. Reprod. 64: 507-517. 2001 - Publication
Lee, S.H., Wang, X.L., and DeJong, J. (2000) Functional interactions between an atypical NF-kB stie from the rat CYP2B1 promoter and the transcriptional repressor RBP-Jk/CBF1. Nuc. Acids Res. 28: 2091-2098. 2000 - Publication
Upadhyaya, A.B., Lee, S.H., and DeJong, J. (1999) Identification of a general transcription factor TFIIA a/b homolog selectively expressed in testis. J. Biol. Chem. 274: 18040-18048. 1999 - Publication
Clemens, K.E., Piras, G., Radonovich, M.F., Choi, K.S., Duvall, J.F., DeJong, J., Roeder, R., and Brady, J.N. (1996) Interaction of the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 Tax transaction factor IIA. Mol. Cell. Bio. 16: 4656-4664. 1996 - Publication
DeJong, J., Bernstein, R., and Roeder, R.G. (1995) Human general transcription factor TFIIA: Characterization of a cDNA encoding the small subunit and requirement for basal and activated transcription. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 92: 3313-3317. 1995 - Publication
DeJong, J. and Roeder, R.G. (1993) A single cDNA, hTFIIAa, encodes both the p35 and p19 subunits of human TFIIA. Genes Dev. 7: 2220-2234. 1993 - Publication
Lee, D.K., DeJong, J., Hashimoto, S., Horikoshi, M., and Roeder, R.G. (1992) TFIIA induces conformational changes in TFIID via interactions with the basic repeat. Mol. Cell. Biol. 12: 5189-5196. 1992 - Publication


Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2001–Present]
Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [1995–2001]
Postdoctoral Associate
The Rockefeller University [1990–1995]
Teaching Assistant
Pennsylvania State University [1984–1990]

News Articles

UTD Biologist Wins $1.29-Million NIH Grant
RICHARDSON, Texas (June 19, 2003) - Dr. Jeff DeJong, associate professor of molecular and cell biology at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), has won a five-year, $1.29-million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research into gene expression, which may provide insights into human reproduction and fertility.

DeJong will study how genes are packaged in the nucleus of cells and, in particular, how the packaging status changes as immature germ cells become mature cells.


Synergistic Activities
1986-1987    One year as Visiting Graduate Student, Academia Sinica, Tapei, Taiwan
1999               Invited junior faculty participant at the American Cancer Society Research Professors Meeting

1995---           American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
1999---           Texas Faculty Association (TFA)

Undergraduate Students
Hau Hou
Jennifer Peace
Jennifer Wabin           UT-Southwestern Medical School
Mohammed Khan      Texas Tech Medical School

Courses Taught
Biology 5410    (50%; Fall) Biochemistry of Proteins and Nucleic Acids
Biology 6329    (50%; Spring) Regulation of Gene Expression in Eubacteria and Eukaryotes
Biology 3362    (33%; Spring) Biochemistry II
Biology 5420    (25%; Fall) Molecular Biology
Biology 5V51    (33%; Various) Methods in Molecular and Cell Biology II


Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate-Scholar Sponsor
1995-2000 SangHyun Lee (Ph.D. completed) 1997-2002 Ashok Upadhyaya (Ph.D. completed) 1998-- SangYoon Han (Current Ph.D. candidate) 1995-1996 Dr. Xiao-li Wang (past postdoctoral associate) 2000-2002 Dr. Wensheng Xie (past postdoctoral associate)
Dr. Keith Parker, UT-Southwestern Dr. Steve Hammes, UT-Southwestern
Graduate and Postdoctoral Advisors
Dr. Chen-Pei David Tu (graduate) Dr. Robert G. Roeder (post-doc)