The RNA Transcript, May 17, 2021
TODAY, Monday, May 17, 4:00–5:00 pm ET | U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine

“Annotation and Characterization of Human Protein-coding Small Open Reading Frames”
Thomas Martinez, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Faculty-Mentor: Dr. Amanda Garner and Dr. Melanie Ohi

My research focuses on using cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to study the structure and function of an enzyme called DICER1, a large, highly dynamic, multidomain protein that not only plays a crucial role in microRNA biogenesis, but also has been linked to tumor formation. Despite this direct connection to disease and demonstrated importance in proper microRNA maturation, little work has been done to structurally understand the underlying mechanism by which DICER1 performs its cleavage reaction. With more insight into the full-length structure of DICER1 bound to its pre-microRNA substrate, I hope to fill this gap in knowledge regarding this underlying mechanism.

Monday, May 17, 1:00 pm ET | U-M Bioinformatics, Dissertation defense

"Epigenetic Effects in Head and Neck Cancer and DI-2-Ethylhexyl Phthalate (DEHP) Exposure"
Siyu Liu, advisor: Maureen Sartor
Tuesday, May 18, 4:00 pm ET | U-M Chemistry, College of LSA
Prof. Nicholas Ingolia from UC Berkeley will discuss CiBER-seq, a new tool developed by his lab to study gene regulatory networks (DOI: 10.1126/science.abb9662). 
Wednesday, May 19, 9:00–10:30 am ET | RNA Collaborative Seminar Series, hosted by GDR RNA

“Quadruplexes Are Everywhere”

"RNA Epigenetics Steers Colorectal Cancer Cell Fate"

Moderator: Fabrice Leclerc, Ph.D.
Thursday, May 20, 10:00 am ET | U-M Chemical Biology, Dissertation defense

"Interrogation of Dynamic Proteins to Expand the Druggable Proteome"
Amanda Pfeiffer, advisor: Charles Brooks & Anna Mapp
Thursday, May 20, 11:00 am ET | U-M Chemical Engineering, Dissertation defense

"High Throughput Isolation and Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells for Monitoring Cancer"
Kaylee Smith, advisor: Sunitha Nagrath
Thursday–Friday, May 20–21, 10:00 am ET | EMBL and IIT Symposium

"EMBL in Italy 2021: A Brave New World of RNA"
May 25–June 5 | The 26th Annual Meeting of the RNA Society

The program includes four keynote lectures to be given by:
Jennifer Doudna (HHMI, University of California Berkeley, USA); Xiang-dong Fu (University of California San Diego, USA); Sarah-Woodson (Johns Hopkins University, USA); and Irene Bozzoni (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy)

For press releases and blog articles about your upcoming top journal publications,

Our members' publications are available through Altmetric. Five queries are currently available: "RNA," "microRNA," "Transcriptome," "Translation," and "Molecule." Please make sure to have at least one of these key words in your title or abstract. Below are recent highlights.
Discovery of Surfactins as Inhibitors of MicroRNA Processing Using Cat-ELCCA
Andrew W. Robertson, Jorge Sandoval, Osama G. Mohamed, Yihao Zhuang, Erin E. Gallagher, Jennifer Schmidt, Lisa Caratelli, Arya Menon, Pamela J. Schultz, Rachel M. Torrez, Catherine L. Hay, Bailey A. Bell, Paul A. Price, Amanda L. Garner*, and Ashootosh Tripathi* ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2021, Publication Date:April 2, 2021

ALS-associated mutation FUS-R521C causes DNA damage and RNA splicing defects

Abstract: Autosomal dominant mutations of the RNA/DNA binding protein FUS are linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS); however, it is not clear how FUS mutations cause neurodegeneration. Using transgenic mice expressing a common FALS-associated FUS mutation (FUS-R521C mice), we found that mutant FUS proteins formed a stable complex with WT FUS proteins and interfered with the normal interactions between FUS and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1). ...
For Fun

LAST WEEK QUESTION: "This technique uses an electron beam to image samples which have been cryogenically frozen."

ANSWER: "cryo-EM"
Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is an electron microscopy (EM) technique applied on samples cooled to cryogenic temperatures (-153°C) and embedded in an environment of vitreous water. An aqueous sample solution is applied to a grid-mesh and plunge-frozen in liquid ethane or a mixture of liquid ethane and propane. While development of the technique began in the 1970s, recent advances in detector technology and software algorithms have allowed for the determination of biomolecular structures at near-atomic resolution. This has attracted wide attention to the approach as an alternative to X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy for macromolecular structure determination without the need for crystallization (source: Wikipedia).
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