BIOB 191-01 Promise and Peril of Stem Cells. GLI freshman seminar CRN 75326
Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; M.Sc.
Brown University, Providence, RI; Ph.D.
We study the importance of spatial organization of regulatory protein/RNA complexes within the cytoplasm. Our model organism is the nematode, C. elegans. C. 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
*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; in press
* - undergraduate student contributors
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