Tae Hoon Kim PhD
Assistant Professor of Genetics; Member, Yale Cancer Center; Member, Yale Stem Cell Center
Transcriptional Regulatory Elements and Chromatin Structure; Expression of the Cancer Genome; Epigenomics
Current ProjectsOur current research efforts span the following areas of investigation:
- systems biology of long range transcriptional regulation - genome-wide analysis of insulator function; analysis of chromosome topology and function
- functional genomics technology development - methods for investigating transcription rate and mRNA intermediates across the human genome
- cancer epigenome - structural alterations and epigenetic perturbations
The human genome is predominantly composed of non-protein coding sequences (>98%) whose function remains largely undefined. A significant portion of the non-coding DNA is believed to serve as transcriptional regulatory elements that control how and when the coding fraction of the genome is used by a cell. Precise expression of each gene during development is achieved by a coordinated action of multiple transcriptional regulatory elements. In order to reconstruct and understand genome expression, we systematically identify these elements and determine how they are connected and controlled. We also investigate how aberrant use of and alterations of these elements can cause cancers. Our laboratory combines traditional molecular and biochemical methods with bioinformatics and high-throughput functional genomics techniques to analyze these elements.
Extensive Research Description
Chromatin domains and insulator function in cancers.
Insulators represent a unique class of regulatory elements that serves to segregate distinct genomic regions. Since insulators maintain proper genomic and chromatin domains, these elements represent a novel class of tumor suppressors. Recently, we reported a large number of insulators in the human genome and described their genomic distribution, sequence determinant of binding and mode of their evolutionary change. We are defining distinct functional classes of insulators and determining molecular mechanisms of their action.
We develop new methods and strategies for identifying and characterizing other regulatory elements and for analyzing mechanisms of genome expression. We employ various technologies that are available: high throughput sequencing, custom DNA microarrays, and various genomic libraries.