Role of the bifunctional snRNA/mRNA activator protein, SBF/Staf, in zebrafish development



The zinc finger transcription factor, SBF/Staf, was identified through its role as an enhancer-binding protein for small RNA gene promoters, such as the human U6 snRNA promoters and the Xenopus selenocysteine tRNA gene promoter. Surprisingly, this protein is a potent activator for pol II-transcribed mRNA gene promoters. Different "domains" of SBF/Staf direct activation of snRNA vs. mRNA gene transcription

A novel 15-amino acid repeat (4 copies) underlies the mRNA activation function of SBF/Staf. We are using zebrafish as a model vertebrate organism to uncover the biological roles of this intriguing protein using the following methods: