An important step to control the amount of RNA or protein in particular types of cells is at the level of transcription of genes. Our lab studies a multifunctional vertebrate transcriptional activator protein known as SBF/Staf/ZNF143. This protein binds to SPH sites within promoters of many genes that produce small stable RNAs (e.g., snRNAs and others) PLUS probably over 2000 promoters of genes that produce mRNAs. Two separate activation domains in this protein direct its action at small RNA vs. mRNA gene promoters. We are using zebrafish as a vertebrate model organism to study the roles of SBF/Staf during development. In vivo studies are coupled with biochemical and molecular biology methods to decipher the mechanisms by which this protein stimulates transcription of various types of genes.
- Huning, L., & Kunkel, G. R. (2020). Two paralogous znf143 genes in zebrafish encode transcriptional activator proteins with similar functions but expressed at different levels during early development. BMC Mol Cell Biol. 21(1), 3.
- Kunkel, G. R., Tracy, J. A., Jalufka, F. L., & Lekven, A. C. (2018). CHD8short, a naturally-occurring truncated form of a chromatin remodeler lacking the helicase domain, is a potent transcriptional coregulator. GENE. 641, 303-309.
- Hernandez-Negrete, I., Sala-Newby, G. B., Perl, A., Kunkel, G. R., Newby, A. C., & Bond, M. (2011). Adhesion-dependent Skp2 transcription requires selenocysteine tRNA gene transcription-activating factor (STAF). BIOCHEMICAL JOURNAL. 436(1), 133-143.
- Curran, K., Lister, J. A., Kunkel, G. R., Prendergast, A., Parichy, D. M., & Raible, D. W. (2010). Interplay between Foxd3 and Mitf regulates cell fate plasticity in the zebrafish neural crest. DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. 344(1), 107-118.
- Halbig, K. M., Lekven, A. C., & Kunkel, G. R. (2008). Zebrafish U6 small nuclear RNA gene promoters contain a SPH element in an unusual location. GENE. 421(1-2), 89-94.
- Kunkel, G. R., & Domitrovich, A. M. (2003). Multiple full-length human U6 snRNA genes are transcribed at different levels. The FASEB Journal. 17(4), A188-A188.
- Kunkel, G. R., Mach, C. M., Hargrove, B. W., & Stone, V. (2002). The small RNA gene activator protein, SPH-binding factor/selenocysteine tRNA gene transcription activating factor, stimulates transcription of the human interferon regulatory factor-3 gene.. The FASEB Journal. 16(4), A10-A10.
- PARK, J. S., & KUNKEL, G. R. (1994). BOTH RNA-POLYMERASE-III AND RNA-POLYMERASE-II RECOGNIZE THE HUMAN U6 PROMOTER IN-VITRO. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 23-23.
- KUNKEL, G. R., DANZEISER, D. A., & URSO, O. E. (1993). FUNCTIONAL-CHARACTERIZATION OF ELEMENTS IN A HUMAN U6 SMALL NUCLEAR-RNA GENE DISTAL CONTROL REGION. The FASEB Journal. 7(7), A1221-A1221.
- KUNKEL, G. R., & DANZEISER, D. A. (1992). TRANSCRIPTION COMPLEX-FORMATION ON A HUMAN SMALL NUCLEAR-RNA GENE PROMOTER. The FASEB Journal. 6(1), A483-A483.
- REU Site: Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Biochemistry awarded by National Science Foundation 2014 - 2020
- REU Site: Summer Undergraduate Research Program In Biochemistry awarded by National Science Foundation 2009 - 2015
- Pavon, Jorge A. (2009-05). MECHANISM OF OXYGEN ACTIVATION AND HYDROXYLATION BY THE AROMATIC AMINO ACID HYDROXYLASES. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Halbig, Kari Michele (2008-05). Multiple roles for the zebrafish transcriptional activator SBF/Staf. (Doctoral Dissertation)