Fred Winston
Fred Marshall Winston, Ph.D.
John Emory Andrus Professor of Genetics

A critical step in eukaryotic gene regulation is the control of transcription across the chromatin template. While transcription has been extensively studied for many years, there are still many mysteries regarding its function and regulation. Furthermore, in humans, when transcription is aberrant, it can often lead to different diseases, including cancer. Transcription was once thought to occur primarily over open reading frames to produce mRNAs. However, it is now known to be pervasive, also occurring on antisense strands and in intergenic regions. While some of this transcription has been shown to play regulatory roles, the function of most transcription is poorly understood.

Our lab studies eukaryotic transcription and chromatin structure using yeast as a model system. Yeast is an excellent model system, as there is extensive conservation between yeast and humans. In addition, by studying yeast one can use powerful genetic approaches that are not possible in larger eukaryotes. For example, high-resolution genetic screens and selections can be performed to study any aspect of gene regulation. In addition, any desired DNA sequence changes can be made in the yeast genome and its consequences analyzed, allowing rigorous in vivo analysis. Furthermore, the small yeast genome facilitates many types of genome-wide, deep-sequencing approaches, including those used to measure mRNA levels (RNA-seq), nucleosome positions (MNase-seq), and the binding of transcription factors (ChIP-seq). The small genome size of yeast, coupled with the ability to make genomic changes, also allows the study and elucidation of complex traits. Finally, as unicellular eukaryotes, yeast cells are valuable for the biochemical analysis of protein complexes and post-translational modifications.

A conserved genetic interaction between Spt6 and Set2 regulates H3K36 methylation.
Authors: Authors: Gopalakrishnan R, Marr SK, Kingston RE, Winston F.
Nucleic Acids Res
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Spt6 Is Required for the Fidelity of Promoter Selection.
Authors: Authors: Doris SM, Chuang J, Viktorovskaya O, Murawska M, Spatt D, Churchman LS, Winston F.
Mol Cell
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Spt5 Plays Vital Roles in the Control of Sense and Antisense Transcription Elongation.
Authors: Authors: Shetty A, Kallgren SP, Demel C, Maier KC, Spatt D, Alver BH, Cramer P, Park PJ, Winston F.
Mol Cell
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Back to the Future: Mutant Hunts Are Still the Way To Go.
Authors: Authors: Winston F, Koshland D.
Genetics
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Analysis of Polygenic Mutants Suggests a Role for Mediator in Regulating Transcriptional Activation Distance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Authors: Authors: Reavey CT, Hickman MJ, Dobi KC, Botstein D, Winston F.
Genetics
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Spt6 regulates intragenic and antisense transcription, nucleosome positioning, and histone modifications genome-wide in fission yeast.
Authors: Authors: DeGennaro CM, Alver BH, Marguerat S, Stepanova E, Davis CP, Bähler J, Park PJ, Winston F.
Mol Cell Biol
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Conserved regulators of nucleolar size revealed by global phenotypic analyses.
Authors: Authors: Neumüller RA, Gross T, Samsonova AA, Vinayagam A, Buckner M, Founk K, Hu Y, Sharifpoor S, Rosebrock AP, Andrews B, Winston F, Perrimon N.
Sci Signal
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Cell-cycle perturbations suppress the slow-growth defect of spt10? mutants in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Authors: Authors: Chang JS, Winston F.
G3 (Bethesda)
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The Schizosaccharomyces pombe inv1+ regulatory region is unusually large and contains redundant cis-acting elements that function in a SAGA- and Swi/Snf-dependent fashion.
Authors: Authors: Ahn S, Spatt D, Winston F.
Eukaryot Cell
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Chromatin and transcription in yeast.
Authors: Authors: Rando OJ, Winston F.
Genetics
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