Research Interests

For many years, Gisela Storz and colleagues investigated redox-sensitive transcription factors and the bacterial and yeast responses to oxidative stress. They found that the activity of the E. coli transcription factor OxyR, now a paradigm for other redox-sensitive proteins, is regulated by reversible disulfide bond formation and elucidated how disulfide bond formation controls the nuclear localization of the S. cerevisiae transcription factor Yap1. As a result of the serendipitous detection of the peroxide-induced OxyS RNA, one of the first small, regulatory RNAs to be discovered, attention of Storz laboratory shifted to the genome-wide identification and study of small RNAs. The characterization of many of these small RNAs revealed that the RNA chaperone Hfq binds to the majority of the RNAs and stimulates their pairing with mRNA targets and that the small RNAs are integral to most regulatory circuits in bacteria. Recently, work by the group has extended to the detection and characterization of proteins of less than 50 amino acids, another class of molecules overlooked by traditional methods of investigation.

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Primary Section

Section 26: Genetics

Secondary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology