RESEARCH PROJECTS

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DEFINING THE MOLECULAR LEVEL CONSEQUENCES OF POST-TRANSCRIPTIONAL MRNA AND TRNA ON PROTEIN SYNTHESIS.

Our lab uses a combination of fully-reconstituted translation assays together with lysate- and cell-based approaches to uncover how the chemical modification of key RNAs in the translation machinery (mRNA and tRNA) impact the rate and accuracy of the ribosome to modulate gene expression.

Collaborators:  Prof. Yury Polikanov Univ of Illinois Chicago), Dr. Bijoyita Roy (NEB), Prof. Aaron Frank (Univ of Michigan), Prof. Tao Pan (Univ of Chicago)

Example: Eyler, et al. PNAS (2019) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1821754116

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DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF MASS-SPECTROMETRY BASED APPROACHES FOR QUANTITATIVELY INVESTIGATING RNA MODIFICATIONS.

We develop mass-spectrometry based approaches to discover, and quantitatively study post-transcriptional modifications in cellular (mRNA, tRNA, rRNA) and viral RNAs.

Collaborators: Prof. Robert Kennedy (Univ of Michigan), Prof. Blake Wiedenheft (Montana State Univ), Prof. Lyle Simmons (Univ of Michigan)

Example: Tardu, et al. ACS ChemBio (2019) DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.9b00369

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ESTABLISHING TARGET SELECTION MECHANISMS OF RNA MODIFYING ENZYMES.

We are using a combination of structural biology, mechanistic enzymology and cell-based studies to determine how mRNA modifying enzymes specifically select and modify their substrates. Our studies will provide the molecular level framework necessary for understanding how chemical modifications are inserted in protein coding mRNAs.

Collaborator: Prof. Markos Koutmos (Univ of Michigan)

Example: Purchal, et al. PNAS (2022) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2109708119

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DETERMINING THE CONSEQUENCES OF RNA MODIFICATIONS IN VIRAL GENOMES.

There is emerging evidence that viral RNA genomes contain post-transcriptional modifications. We are implementing the LC-MS/MS technologies we developed to uncover the modification landscape in RNA viruses, while simultaneously determining the impact of modifications on viral transcription.

Collaborators: Prof. Blake Wiedenheft (Montana State Univ), Prof. Joyce Jose (Penn State Univ)

Contact Kristin Koutmou at kkoutmou@umich.edu to learn more.

 

FUNDING

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

R35 GM128836
Chemical Biology Training Program (to Monika Franco)

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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

CAREER Award
NSF GFRP (to Josh Jones)

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RESEARCH CORPORATION OF SCIENCE ADVANCEMENT

Cottrell Scholar Award, Mitigating Zoonotic Threats Scialog Award

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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Mitigating Zoonotic Threats - Award #863450

 
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