Y. Whitney Yin, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
Tel: (409) 772-9631
Fax: (409) 772-9651
Campus Location: 3.110B Basic Science Bldg
Mail Route: 0617
Our research focuses on several aspects of DNA replication and gene
transciption using methods of crystallography and other biochemistry and
Structural basis for anti-HIV drug toxicity
Human mitochondrial DNA polymerase has been implicated in drug
toxicity of antiviral drugs designed against HIV reverse transcriptase.
We use structures of human mitochondrial DNA polymerase as a guide for
designing more potent and less toxic antiviral agents.
Mechanism for gene expression in mitochondria
Gene expression system in mitochondria shows a clear viral origin:
The mitochondrial RNA polymerase active site domain resembles that of T7
bacteriophage. However, mitoRNA polymerase differs from T7 RNA
polymerase by functionallly depending on transcription factors. Studies
of mitochondrial transcription not only provides us important links
between human diseases and gene expression defects, but also a valuable
point on evolution of transcription systems.
Bioengineering of T7 RNA polymerase for new functions
T7 RNA polymerase is a major tool for RNA synthesis in vitro. We
are working on reengineering the polymerase to gain various functions
for generation modified RNA.