Ekaterina Voronina

Ekaterina Voronina

Associate Professor

Home Department: DBS
Office: ISB 217
Office Hours:

By appointment; find me in the office (ISB Rm 217) or in the lab (ISB 208)
Fall 2020: Students in BIOB 301 Developmental Biology can sign up for office hours online

Zoom office hours meeting ID: 921 0278 0053


Personal Website

Current Position

Associate Professor


BIOB 301-01 -  Developmental Biology - Fall Semester. FALL 2020: Taught remotely T/Th 11am-12:20pm, Zoom meeting ID: 960 7972 3133
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

*Wang X, Ellenbecker M, *Hickey B, *Day NJ, *Osterli E, *Terzo M, Voronina E. Antagonistic control of C. elegans germline stem cell proliferation and differentiation by PUF proteins FBF-1 and FBF-2. eLife 2020; 9:e52788, doi:10.7554/eLife.52788

*Day NJ, *Wang X, Voronina EIn Situ Detection of Ribonucleoprotein Complex Assembly in the C. elegans Germline using Proximity Ligation Assay. J. Vis. Exp. 2020 (159), e60982, doi:10.3791/60982

Ellenbecker M, *Osterli E, *Wang X, *Day N, *Baumgarten E, *Hickey B, Voronina E. Dynein light chain DLC-1 facilitates the function of GLD-1 germline cell fate regulator in C. elegansGenetics 2019; 211(2): 665-681, Selected for Cover

*Day N, Ellenbecker M, Voronina EC. elegans DLC-1 Associates with Ribonucleoprotein Complexes to Promote mRNA Regulation. FEBS Letters 2018 592(22): 3683-3695, Highlighted as Editor’s Choice

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, 2017 23(2):111-127 Selected for Cover

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

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

*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

Specialized Research Interests

RNA P-granules in cell development.


Molecular Biosciences Umbrella Program
Grad Program in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology,
Grad Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics