The RNA Transcript, September 28, 2020
TODAY, Monday, Sept. 28, 9:00–10:00 am

UM RNA Innovation Seminar Series

“Genetic code reprogramming that Revolutionizes the discovery processes of peptide drug leads”
Hiroaki Suga, University of Tokyo, Japan
Congratulations, Steve Parker!

Steve Parker, Ph.D., a member of our Executive Committee, and Michigan colleagues have received an AMP-T2D (Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Type 2 Diabetes) Consortium Award (UM1) from NIDDK.

Steve Parker will lead a team working in the international AMP-T2D Consortium and is joined by University of Michigan colleagues: Arvind Rao, Laura Scott, Marci Brandenburg, and Mike Boehnke. Their proposal, which was joint with teams from the University of North Carolina, Harvard, and Stanford, titled “Bridging the gap between type 2 diabetes GWAS and therapeutic targets” will help identify new treatment avenues for diabetes.
Congratulations, Sarah Keane!

Sarah Keane, Ph.D., received the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award.
The University of Michigan Center for RNA Biomedicine involves over 155 faculty members and their labs across seven Schools and Colleges on the Ann Arbor campus. We're pleased to feature these outstanding scientists and colleagues in our weekly news.
Associate Professor, Neurology, Medical School

The image shows two neurons — the one in the bottom left dies, while the one in the top right lives. Barmada's lab is studying why neurons die in ALS and frontotemporal dementia, but also why some neurons live.
Monday, September 28, 9:00–10:00 am | U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine,
UM RNA Innovation Seminar Series

“Genetic code reprogramming that Revolutionizes the discovery processes of peptide drug leads”
Tuesday, September 29, 12:00 pm | U-M Department of Biological Chemistry

William EM Lands lecture featuring Jean Schaffer, M.D., Ph.D., Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School
"snoRNAs: Novel Links to Metabolism"
Tuesday, September 29, 3:00–4:00 pm | Harvard Medical School

“The host shapes the microbiome via fecal microRNA: Oral miR-30d in the feces of MS patients suppresses EAE by expanding Akkermansia muciniphila”
September 30th–October 2nd | ENCODE 2020 | Research Applications & Users Meeting

ENCODE 2020 is a unique opportunity for researchers at all levels to learn how to leverage the ENCODE Project’s ~15,000 genomic datasets to accelerate research in genetics, cancer, neurobiology, immunology, cell engineering and computational biology. The meeting will have a special focus on the collection of ENCODE 3 publications released by Nature in the last July issue.
Monday, October 5, 4:00–5:00 pm | U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine
UM RNA Innovation Seminar Series

Chase Weidmann, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
“Defining functional hubs in RNA-protein interaction networks”
Thursday, October 8, 4:00-5:00 pm | UM RNA Student and Postdoc Council - Journal Club

In preparation for U-M RNA Innovation Seminar of Oct. 19, 4:00-5:00, (seminar registration required) with Gene Yeo, Ph.D., Professor, Dept of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UCSD, Co-Director, UCSD Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Graduate 
"Systematic discovery of molecular and cellular functions of RNA binding proteins"

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.
RNA abasic sites in yeast and human cells
Yaojuan Liu, Yesenia Rodriguez, Robert L. Ross, Ruoxia Zhao, Jason A. Watts, Christopher Grunseich, Alan Bruzel, Dongjun Li, Joshua T. Burdick, Rajendra Prasad, Robert J. Crouch, Patrick A. Limbach, Samuel H. Wilson, and  Vivian G. Cheung
PNAS August 25, 2020 117 (34) 20689-20695;

Here, we uncover RNA abasic sites in yeast and human cells, which are not as rare as assumed; there are about three abasic sites per million ribonucleotides. We identify a glycosylase that generates RNA abasic sites and an AP endonuclease that processes these sites. Additionally, we showed that RNA abasic sites are coupled to a regulatory nucleic acid structure, known as an R-loop, suggesting their role in RNA processing.
Discovery of Mitochondrial Transcription Inhibitors Active in Pancreatic Cancer Cells Wenmin ChenShuai HuShuai Mao, Yibin Xu, Hui GuoHaoxi LiMichelle T. PaulsenXinde Chen, Mats Ljungman, Nouri Neamati, First published: 03 August 2020

As mitochondrial transcription inhibitors and redox modulators, SQD1 and Mito‐Chlor are promising for the treatment of pancreatic cancer by blocking mitochondrial function.