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Post-doc - Molecular Biology Rockefeller University - 1995
Ph.D. - Biochemistry Pennsylvania State University - 1990
B.A. - Biology University of Missouri-Columbia - 1984
Regulation of genes in eukaryotic organisms involves the coordinated assembly and function of a complex array of proteins at promoter DNA. The proteins required include RNA polymerase II and a set of associated ‘basal’ factors such as TFIIA and TFIID, as well as histones and an array of histone modifier/coactivator complexes. In higher eukaryotes the individual subunits that make up this machinery are in some cases encoded by multiple genes. In situations where this is seen, one version of the gene is typically expressed and used in somatic tissues while the other version is expressed solely in germ line tissues. Studies in this laboratory were among the first to demonstrate the rather surprising separation of transcription factor systems into somatic and germ cell categories, and our work has focused on characterizing the composition, regulation, and function of these systems. The use of special non-somatic transcription factors for regulation of the germ cell genome may be connected to phenomena such as the use of alternate transcription start sites and the expression of germ cell-specific noncoding RNAs, perhaps including piRNAs . This puzzle of germ cell transcription factor replacement is not entirely explained, but is likely necessary for the germ cell to accomplish two essential goals: preparation of a functional haploid DNA genome capable of fertilization and, after fertilization, setting up a transition back to somatic/early embryonic gene expression.
Li, D., Raza, A., and DeJong, J. (2009) Regulation of ALF Promoter Activity in Xenopus Oocytes. PLoS ONE4: e6664. 2009 - publications
Kim, M.J., Patel, B., Schroeder, K.E., Raza, A., and DeJong, J. (2008) Organization and transcriptional output of a novel mRNA-like piRNA gene (mpiR) located on mouse chromosome 10. RNA14: 1005-1011. 2008 - Publication
Kim, M.J., Li, D., Cui, Y., Mueller, K., Chears, W.C., and DeJong J. (2006) Regulatory factor interactions and somatic silencing of the germ cell-specific ALF gene. J. Biol. Chem.281: 34288-34298. 2006 - Publication
Xiao, L.J., Kim, M.J., and DeJong, J. (2006) Developmental and cell type-specific regulation of core promoter transcription factors in germ cells of frogs and mice. Gene Expression Patterns6: 409-419. 2006 - Publication
DeJong, J. (2006) Basic mechanisms for the control of germ cell gene expression. Gene. 366: 39-50. 2006 - Publication
Han, S.Y., Xie, W., Kim, S.H., Yue, L., and DeJong, J. (2004) A short core promoter drives expression of the ALF transcription factor in reproductive tissues of male and female mice. Biol. Reprod.71: 933-941. 2004 - Publication
Han, S.Y., Xie, W., Hammes, S.R., and DeJong, J. (2003) Expression of the germ cell-specific transcription factor ALF in Xenopus oocytes compensates for translational inactivation of the somatic factor TFIIA. J. Biol. Chem.278: 45586-45593. 2003 - 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
Associate Professor University of Texas at Dallas [2001–Present]
Assistant Professor University of Texas at Dallas [1995–2001]
Postdoctoral Associate The Rockefeller University [1990–1995]
Ph.D. Student/Teaching Assistant Pennsylvania State University [1984–1990]
Courses Taught Biology 3362 Biochemistry II Biology 3301 Genetics Biology 6331 Molecular Genetics Biology 6353 Modern Biochemistry II
Ph.D. Students and Postdoctoral
Ph.D. Students (past) SangHyun Lee Ashok Upadhyaya SangYoon Han MinJung Kim Dan Li
Postdocs (past) Dr. Xiao-li Wang Dr. Wensheng Xie
Graduate and Postdoctoral Advisors
Dr. Chen-Pei David Tu (graduate) Dr. Robert G. Roeder (post-doc)