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Event Detail (Archived)

High Resolution Ribosome Profiling Reveals Translational Responses to Stress

The Joshua Lederberg Distinguished Lecture in Molecular Genetics

Event Details

Friday Lecture Series
Rachel Green, Ph.D., investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

There are several mRNA surveillance pathways in eukaryotes (NGD, NSD and NMD) that moderate the effects of natural errors in the cell and more broadly regulate gene expression. We have previously defined biochemical parameters of the factors Dom34, Hbs1 and Rli1 in our in vitro reconstituted yeast translation system. We have correlated these biochemical observations with ribosome profiling experiments in yeast to broadly define the in vivo targets of these same mRNA surveillance pathways. In the process of studying these pathways, we learned that different ribosome footprint (RPFs) sizes represent distinct states of elongating ribosomes in a cell: 16 nt RPFs represent ribosomes stuck at the end of truncated mRNAs, 21 nts RPFs represent ribosomes with an empty A site (pre-accommodation), and 28 nt RPFs represent ribosomes with a full A site (pre-translocation). Dr. Green's lab has further found that the distribution of ribosomes in these distinct states reveals a molecular signature that can define the mechanisms that the cell uses to respond to various environmental stresses. Dr. Green's lab is currently following these signatures in yeast and mammalian systems to define the stresses and signaling pathways that lead to translation elongation dysfunction.

Rachel Green began her scientific career majoring in chemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Her doctoral work was performed at Harvard in the laboratory of Jack Szostak where she studied RNA enzymes and developed methodologies for evolving RNAs in vitro. She came to the JHU School of Medicine in 1998 following post-doctoral work in Harry Noller’s lab at UC Santa Cruz where she began her work on ribosomes. Her laboratory is interested in deciphering the molecular mechanisms that are at the heart of protein synthesis and its regulation across biology. This focus allows her to still think about the earliest evolutionary steps that led to life on earth, but in a system where biological questions drive the experiments. Her laboratory uses both biochemical and genomic approaches to get at these questions in bacterial and eukaryotic systems.

Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7783
Open to
Sebastian Klinge
Refreshments, 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Abby Lounge
Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7783

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