Gretchen Poortinga

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hairy is a Drosophila pair-rule segmentation gene that functions genetically as a repressor. To isolate protein components of Hairy-mediated repression, we used a yeast interaction screen and identified a Hairy-interacting protein, the Drosophila homolog of the human C-terminal-binding protein (CtBP). Human CtBP is a cellular phosphoprotein that interacts(More)
Increased transcription of ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) by RNA Polymerase I is a common feature of human cancer, but whether it is required for the malignant phenotype remains unclear. We show that rDNA transcription can be therapeutically targeted with the small molecule CX-5461 to selectively kill B-lymphoma cells in vivo while maintaining a viable(More)
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key regulator of cell growth acting via two independent targets, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) and 4EBP1. While each is known to regulate translational efficiency, the mechanism by which they control cell growth remains unclear. In addition to increased initiation of translation, the accelerated synthesis and(More)
In mammals, the mechanisms regulating the number of active copies of the approximately 200 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes transcribed by RNA polymerase I are unclear. We demonstrate that depletion of the transcription factor upstream binding factor (UBF) leads to the stable and reversible methylation-independent silencing of rRNA genes by promoting histone(More)
The regulation of cell mass (cell growth) is often tightly coupled to the cell division cycle (cell proliferation). Ribosome biogenesis and the control of rDNA transcription through RNA polymerase I are known to be critical determinants of cell growth. Here we show that granulocytic cells deficient in the c-MYC antagonist MAD1 display increased cell volume,(More)
Neural fate specification in Drosophila is promoted by the products of the proneural genes, such as those of the achaete-scute complex, and antagonized by the products of the Enhancer of split [E(spl)] complex, hairy, and extramacrochaetae. As all these proteins bear a helix-loop-helix (HLH) dimerization domain, we investigated their potential pairwise(More)
The MYC oncoprotein and transcription factor is dysregulated in a majority of human cancers and is considered a major driver of the malignant phenotype. As such, developing drugs for effective inhibition of MYC in a manner selective to malignancies is a ‘holy grail’ of transcription factor-based cancer therapy. Recent advances in elucidating MYC biology in(More)
Loss of c-MYC is required for downregulation of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene (rDNA) transcription by RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) during granulocyte differentiation. Here, we demonstrate a robust reduction of Pol I loading onto rDNA that along with a depletion of the MYC target gene upstream binding factor (UBF) and a switch from epigenetically active to silent(More)
c-MYC inhibits differentiation and regulates the process by which cells acquire biomass, cell growth. Down-regulation of c-MYC, reduced cell growth, and decreased activity of the PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 signal transduction pathway are features of the terminal differentiation of committed myeloid precursors to polymorphonuclear neutrophils. Since mTORC1 regulates(More)
RNA polymerase I (Pol I)-mediated transcription of the ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) is confined to the nucleolus and is a rate-limiting step for cell growth and proliferation. Inhibition of Pol I by CX-5461 can selectively induce p53-mediated apoptosis of tumour cells in vivo. Currently, CX-5461 is in clinical trial for patients with advanced haematological(More)