Universität Zürich

previous IMB
work groups

Homepage of the Institute


Alcide Barberis

Mechanisms of gene activation in eukaryotes

Alcide Barberis


Institut für Molekularbiologie
Universität Zürich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zürich

++41-1-635-3135 (office)
++41-1-635-3136 (lab)
++41-1-635-6811 (fax, institute)


Alcide Barberis moved to the biotech company

 top | contact | research | publications

Research Summary

We imagine that transcriptional activators work by one or both of the following mechanisms: recruiting an essential component to DNA and/or changing the conformation of some pre-bound target. In vitro experiments have led to the suggestion that gene activation in eukaryotes involves an ordered, multistep assembly of the transcription complex on DNA, various steps of which might be catalyzed by activators, either by direct recruitment or by induced conformational change. My recent work, taken with that of others, suggests that a transcriptional activator works by recruiting a pre-formed RNA Polymerase II holoenzyme complex to DNA, and that such recruitment can be achieved by interaction between the DNA-bound activator and any target present on the surface of the holoenzyme. With my future research, using a combination of genetic and biochemical assays, I will pursue analysis of the mechanisms of transcriptional activation in eukaryotes.

detailed research outline


Recent publications


Badi, L., and Barberis, A. (2002). The CUP1 Upstream Repeated Element renders CUP1 promoter activation insensitive to mutations in the RNA polymerase II transcription complex. Nucleic Acids Res. 30 (6), in press.

Petrascheck M., and Barberis A. (2001). False positives and true negatives: Assessing the selectivity of two-hybrid systems. Review article, Res. Adv. in Biological Chem. 1, 61-74.

Escher, D., and Barberis, A. (2000). ESBATech AG: Taking yeast from the brewery to drug discovery. Review article, Chimia 54, 171-173. Article

Bodmer-Glavas M, Edler K, Barberis A. (2001) RNA polymerase II and III transcription factors can stimulate DNA replication by modifying origin chromatin structures. Nucleic Acids Res. 29(22):4570-80. Abstract

Adrian Auf der Maur, Dominik Escher, Alcide Barberis (2001) Antigen-independent selection of stable intracellular single-chain antibodies. FEBS Letters 25490:1-6. Journal Article

Badi, L. and Barberis, A. (2001) Proteins that genetically interact with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcription factor Gal11p emphasize its role in the initiation-elongation transition. Mol. Genet. Genomics 265(6):1076-86. Abstract Journal Article

Petrascheck M, Castagna F, Barberis A. (2001) Two-hybrid selection assay to identify proteins interacting with polymerase II transcription factors and regulators. Biotechniques 30(2):296-8, 300, 302. Abstract

Escher D, Bodmer-Glavas M, Barberis A, Schaffner W.(2000) Conservation of glutamine-rich transactivation function between yeast and humans. Mol Cell Biol. 20(8):2774-82. Abstract

Worn A, Auf der Maur A, Escher D, Honegger A, Barberis A, Pluckthun A. (2000) Correlation between in vitro stability and in vivo performance of anti-GCN4 intrabodies as cytoplasmic inhibitors. J Biol Chem. 275(4):2795-803. Abstract

Stagljar I, Hubscher U, Barberis A. (1999) Activation of DNA replication in yeast by recruitment of the RNA polymerase II transcription complex. Biol. Chem. 380(5):525-530. Abstract

Barberis, A. and Gaudreau, L. (1998) Recruitment of the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme and its implications in gene regulation. Review article, Biol. Chem, 379(12):1397-1405. Abstract

Farrel, S., Simkovich, N., Wu, Y., Barberis, A. and Ptashne, M. (1996) Gene activation by recruitment of the RNA Polymerase II holoenzyme. Genes & Development 10: 2359-2367. Abstract

Sigal, G., Bamdad, C., Barberis, A., Strominger, J. and Whitesides, G. M. (1996) A self-assembled monolayer for the binding and study of histidine-tagged proteins by surface plasmon resonance. Anal. Chem. 68:490-497. Abstract

Barberis, A., Pearlberg, J., Simkovich, N., Farrell, S., Reinagel, P., Bamdad, C., Sigal, G. and Ptashne, M. (1995) Contact with a component of the polymerase II holoenzyme suffices for gene activation. Cell 81:359-368. Abstract

Barberis, A., Muller, C. W., Harrison, S. C. and Ptashne, M. (1993) Delineation of two functional regions of transcription factor TFIIB. PNAS 90:5628-5632. Abstract


Institute of Molecular Biology © Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zürich,
maintained by // last modified 29.12.2009