Ph.D., University of Illinois, Chicago
Office:  (501)686-5787 – Biomedical Research Center B421C
Lab:  (501)686-7876 – Biomedical Research Center B428, B430, B432
FAX:  (501)526-7008

Chromosome Dynamics in Meiosis; Combinatorial bZIP Dimers and Cellular Growth Control

During meiosis, homologous chromosomes replicate once, pair, enjoy a high rate of recombination, and undergo two rounds of chromosome segregation to produce haploid meiotic products.  We use a combination of genetic, molecular, biochemical, and cytological approaches to study meiotic chromosome dynamics in fission yeast.  One focus is on how recombination hotspots and chromatin remodeling regulate recombination throughout the genome.  We are also investigating how complexes of meiotic recombination enzymes assemble and function.  A third focus is on the relationship between recombination, sister chromatid cohesion, and proper segregation of chromosomes in each meiotic division.

Proteins of the ATF/CREB/AP-1 family are components of signal transduction pathways that monitor intracellular and extracellular conditions and transmit those signals to downstream targets.  These proteins share a conserved bZIP domain that mediates both protein dimerization and sequence-specific DNA binding activity.  A systematic study of bZIP transcription factors of fission yeast is underway.  We are interested in how different dimers form, what sets of target genes they activate in response to different cellular stresses, and how upstream signal transduction events regulate the process.


Selected Publications

Kan, F., M.K. Davidson, and W.P. Wahls (2011). Meiotic recombination protein Rec12: functional conservation, crossover homeostasis and early crossover/non-crossover decision. Nucleic Acids Res. 39:1460-1472. [Abstract]

Wahls, W.P., and M.K. Davidson (2010). Discrete DNA sites regulate global distribution of meiotic recombination. Trends Genet. 26:202-208. [Abstract]

Gao, J., M.K. Davidson, and W.P. Wahls (2009). Phosphorylation-independent regulation of Atf1-promoted meiotic recombination by stress-activated, p38 kinase Spc1 of fission yeast. PLoS ONE 4:e5533. [Abstract]

Wahls, W.P., E.R. Seigel, and M.K. Davidson (2008). Meiotic recombination hotspots are directed to loci that express non-coding RNA. PLoS ONE 3:e2887. [Abstract]

Wahls, W.P., and M.K. Davidson (2008). Low-copy episomal vector pFY20 and high-saturation coverage genomic libraries for the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe (2008). Yeast 25:643-650. [Abstract]

Gao, J., M.K. Davidson, and W.P. Wahls (2008). Distinct regions of ATF/CREB proteins Atf1 and Pcr1 control recombination hotspot ade6-M26 and the osmotic stress response. Nucleic Acids Res. 36:2838-2851. [Abstract]

DeWall, K.M., M.K. Davidson, and W.P. Wahls (2005). A DNA binding motif of meiotic recombinase Rec12 (Spo11) defined by essential glycine-202, and persistence of Rec12 protein after completion of meiotic recombination. Gene 356:77-84. [Abstract]

Wu, H., J. Gao, W.D. Sharif, M.K. Davidson, and W.P. Wahls (2004). Purification, folding, and characterization of Rec12 (Spo11) meiotic recombinase of fission yeast. Protein Expr. Purif. 38:136-144. [Abstract]

Davidson, M.K., H.K. Shandilya, K. Hirota, K. Ohta, and W.P. Wahls (2004). Atf1-Pcr1-M26 complex links stress-activated MAPK and cAMP-dependent protein kinase pathways via chromatin remodeling of cgs2+. Nucleic Acids Res. 279:50857-50863. [Abstract]

Davidson, M.K., N.P. Young, G.G. Glick, and W.P. Wahls (2004). Meiotic chromosome segregation mutants identified by insertional mutagenesis of fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe: tandem-repeat, single site integrations. Nucleic Acids Res. 32:4400-4410. [Abstract]

Yamada, T., K. Mizuno, K. Hirota, N. Kon, W.P. Wahls, E. Hartsuiker, H. Murofushi, T. Shibata, and K. Ohta (2004). Roles of histone acetylation and chromatin remodeling factor in a meiotic recombination hotspot. EMBO J. 23:1792-1803. [Abstract]

PubMed link to additional publications