Cells express an astonishing variety of mRNA transcripts from a limited pool of genes. Across tissues and even among individuals, mRNAs produced from the same gene differ at their 5’ and 3’ ends as well as throughout the transcript body, enabling the expression of numerous protein products per gene. Transcript diversity is due to regulation of transcription and splicing, which we investigate in vivo.
We have established experimental systems in budding yeast, zebrafish embryos, and mammalian tissue culture cells to explore transcription and splicing regulation in a variety of biological contexts and with a diversity of tools, from imaging to genome-wide approaches. Our observations have provided novel insights into transcription and splicing mechanisms as well as principles of cellular organization that facilitate efficient gene expression.