1) The role of Hsf1 in regulating HSP gene architecture. Thus far, I have established that Hsf1 is both necessary and sufficient to trigger intergenic (both cis- and trans-) interactions of HSP genes.
2) Employ a candidate-based approach to identify transcriptional coactivators and chromosomal structural proteins that may act in concert with Hsf1 to govern the 3D architecture of HSP genes. Prime candidates include transcriptional coactivators like Mediator and structural maintenance proteins like cohesin and condensin. Uncovering the roles of these trans-acting factors will afford insights into the mechanistic basis for, and biological relevance of, the dramatic conformational changes in HSP genes that accompany their heat shock-induced transcriptional activation.