Christy Au

BS Biochemistry, Stony Brook University, 2016

As an undergraduate researcher at Dr. Ed Luk’s laboratory, I studied the principles of gene expression control in eukaryotic cells. Asking the fundamental question of how cells disassemble chromatin during transcriptional initiation, I investigated the role of the preinitiation complex in the nucleosome at promoters. I was able show that TFIID, a general transcription factor, was not able to disrupt the structure of nucleosomes. We also examined whether the transcription machinery and other chromatin remodeling enzymes compete for promoter sequences in yeast. We saw that depletion of the transcription machinery did not lead to the accumulation SWR1, a chromatin remodeling enzyme.

In the Littman Lab, I am interested in how the microbiota affect T-cell recruitment to a tumor microenvironment and its influence on tumor growth.



1. Ng, C., Aichinger, M., Nguyen, T.*, Au, C.*, Najar, T., Wu,L., Mesa, K.R., Liao, W., Quivy, J.P., Hubert, B., Almouzni, G., Zuber, J., Littman, D.R. (2019). The histone chaperone CAF-1 cooperates with the DNA methyltransferases to maintain Cd4 silencing in cytotoxic T cells. Genes & Dev. 2019 Apr 11. doi: 10.1101/gad.322024.118. PMID: 30975723

2. Issuree, P.D., Day, K., Au, C., Raviram, R., Zappile, P., Skok, J.A., Xue, H.-H., Myers, R.M., and Littman, D.R. (2018). Stage-specific epigenetic regulation of CD4 expression by coordinated enhancer elements during T cell development. Nature Communications 9, 3594. Open access:

3. Xu, M.*, Pokrovskii, M.*, Ding, Y., Yi, R., Au, C., Harrison, O.J., Galan, C., Belkaid, Y., Bonneau, R., Littman, D.R. (2018) c-Maf-dependent regulatory T cells mediate immunological tolerance to a gut pathobiont. Nature. 2018 Feb 15;554(7692):373-377.

4. Tramantano, Michael, Lu, Sun*, Au, Christy*, Labuz, Daniel, Liu, Zhimin, Chou, Mindy, Shen, Chen, Luk, Ed. “Constitutive Turnover of Histone H2A.Z at Yeast Promoters Requires the Preinitiation Complex.” ELife, vol. 5, 2016, doi:10.7554/elife.14243.