The overarching theme of our lab's research is the importance of post-transcriptional control of gene expression in reproductive development of the nematode, C. elegans.
We found cooperation between germ granules and a RNA regulatory protein FBF-2 (a PUF family member). 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. Other areas of interest include how FBF-2 function is regulated by the presence of germ granules and identification of novel cofactors of FBF-2.
Our research identified DLC-1, a structural component of many protein complexes, to be involved in FBF-2-mediated regulation. We are now expanding our studies to identify additional RNA regulators that are assisted by DLC-1.