CBSD-Affiliated Faculty

Ekaterina Voronina

Ekaterina Voronina

Associate Professor, DBS

Office: ISB 217
Office Hours:

By appointment; find me in the office (ISB Rm 217) or in the lab (ISB 208)

Personal Website

Current Position

Associate Professor


BIOB 301-01 -  Developmental Biology - Fall Semester
BIOH 490 - Genes and Development LAB - Spring Semester, Even Years
BIOB 467/567 - Molecular Analysis of Development, SEMINAR, co-convening for UG and Grad students - Spring Semester, Odd Years






Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; M.Sc.

Brown University, Providence, RI; Ph.D.

Research Interests


We study the importance of spatial organization of regulatory protein/RNA complexes within the cytoplasm.  Our model organism is the nematode, C. elegansC. elegans reproduction is sustained by germ cells that give rise to eggs and sperm.  Our lab investigates how the germ cell RNA regulatory machinery is organized in cytoplasmic organelles called P granules (or germ granules).  The strategy of assembling important regulators in cytoplasmic foci is conserved across species, and we anticipate that our findings will shed light on the functions of conserved regulators in development and disease.

We found cooperation between germ granules and a RNA regulatory protein FBF-2 (a PUF family member). PUF proteins are expressed in stem cells and are important for supporting stem cell function. PUF proteins including FBF-2 localize to cytoplasmic RNA granules but the regulation and significance of this localization is unknown.  We work on defining the structural features and molecular interactions directing FBF-2 to germ granules. Additionally, we are investigating how the FBF-2 function is regulated by the presence of germ granules.


Field of Study

RNA regulation in animal development

Selected Publications

       * - University of Montana undergraduate and graduate student contributors

Su Z, Wang F, Lee JH, Stephens K, Papazyan R, Voronina E, Krautkramer K, Raman A, Thorpe JJ, Boersma MD, Kuznetsov V, Miller MD, Taverna SD, Phillips Jr. GN, Denu JM. Reader Domain Specificity Directs Lysine Demethylase-4 Family Function. Nat Commun 2016 7:13387

Battisti JM, *Watson LA, *Naung MT, *Drobish AM, Voronina E and Minnick MF. Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response to Coxiella burnetiiInnate Immunity 2016

*Wang X, *Olson JR, Rasoloson D, Ellenbecker M, *Bailey J, Voronina E. Dynein light chain DLC-1/LC8 promotes localization and function of the PUF protein FBF-2 in germline progenitor cells. Development 2016 143:4643-4653

Voronina E, Greenstein D. Germ cell fate determination in C. elegans. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester; eLS 2016. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001501.pub2

Voronina E. mRNAs hit a sticky wicket. Dev Cell 2016

*Novak, P., Wang, X., Ellenbecker, M., *Feilzer, S. and Voronina, E. Splicing machinery facilitates post-transcriptional regulation by FBFs and other RNA-binding proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans germline. G3 2015 5:2051

Papazyan, R, Voronina, E, Chapman, JR, Luperchio, TR, Gilbert, TM, Meier, E., Mackintosh, SG, Shabanowitz, J, Tackett, AJ, Reddy, KL, Coyne, RS, Hunt, DF, Liu, Y., Taverna, SD. Methylation of histone H3K23 blocks DNA damage in pericentric heterochromatin during meiosis eLife 2014; 3:302996. 

Voronina, E. The diverse functions of germline P granules in C. elegans. Mol Reprod Dev 2013; 80:624-631

Voronina, E., Paix, A. and Seydoux, G.  The P granule component PGL-1 promotes the localization and silencing activity of the PUF protein FBF-2 in germline stem cells. Development 2012; 139(20):3732-3740

Joseph-Strauss, D., Gorjánácz, M., Santarella-Mellwig, R., Voronina, E., Audhya, A., Cohen-Fix, O. Sm protein down-regulation leads to defects in nuclear pore complex disassembly and distribution in C. elegans embryos. Dev Biol 2012; 365(2);445-457.

Voronina, E., Seydoux, G., Sassone-Corsi, P., Nagamori, I. RNA Granules in Germ Cells. In Germ Cells (Eds. Sassone-Corsi, Fuller, Braun). Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2011; 85-111

Voronina, E. and Seydoux, G. The C. elegans homolog of nucleoporin Nup98 is required for the integrity and function of germline P granules. Development 2010; 137(9):1441-1450


DBS, Grad Program in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology,
Grad Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics