Professor Andre Furger

Tutor in Biochemistry, Tanaka Fellow in Biochemistry, Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Subjects: 
Biochemistry

Teaching activities

Molecular Biology methods.
Molecular Biology. Eukaryotic gene expression.

Detailed Biography

College Function

  • Tutor in Biochemistry
  • Dean of Graduates (PGR)

Member of:

  • Governing Body
  • Academic Committee
  • Tutors' Committee

Affiliations

Lecturer Department of Biochemistry.

Research interests

The precise expression of genes is a fundamental process for the survival of any organism. Mechanisms that control gene expression exist on various different levels and I am particularly interested in how eukaryotic gene expression is regulated on the level of messenger RNA transcription and processing.

Three major processing reactions are needed to modify the eukaryotic pre-mRNA into a mature mRNA. A cap structure is added at the 5' end, intervening non coding sequences are excised in a process called splicing and finally a mature 3' end is generated by a cleavage event and the addition of a poly(A) tail. In recent years it emerged that all three processing reactions are not isolated events on the pre-mRNA but rather influence and even depend on each other. In addition, mRNA processing is tightly linked to the transcription apparatus, through interactions of processing factors with the C terminal domain of RNA polymerase II. Furthermore, there is now growing evidence that processing reactions can affect the rate of transcription.

My research is focussing on the molecular mechanisms that direct and allow interconnections between components of the different processing machineries and how these interactions can affect the efficiency of the reactions. In addition I am investigating how processing events can feed back to transcription and affect transcriptional rates. I am currently using both, human cell lines and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to identify new components that are involved in the connection of splicing and transcription.

Publications

Furger A, O'Sullivan J., Binnie A., Lee B. and Proudfoot NJPromoter Proximal Splice Sites Enhance TranscriptionGenes & Dev. 2002 Nov 1;16(21):2792-9.

Kwek K., Y., Murphy S., Furger A., Kimura H., Cook P., Thomas B.,

Proudfoot N. & Akoulitchev A.U1 snRNA Associates With General Transcription Factor IIH and Regulates Transcription InitiationNat Struct Biol. 2002 Nov;9(11):800-5.

Proudfoot Nick J., Furger Andre and Dye Michael J.Integrating mRNA processing with transcriptionCell. 2002. Feb. 22; (108): 501-512