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Maria L Zapp PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUMass Chan Medical School
DepartmentProgram in Molecular Medicine
AddressUMass Chan Medical School
373 Plantation Street
Worcester MA 01605
Phone508-856-4787
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentMicrobiology and Physiological Systems

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentProgram in Molecular Medicine

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentImmunology and Microbiology Program

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentInterdisciplinary Graduate Program

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentTranslational Science

    InstitutionUMass Chan Programs, Centers and Institutes
    DepartmentCancer Center


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA, United StatesBABiochemistry
    Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United StatesPHDBiochemistry

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    Academic Background

    PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, 1989

    Regulation of retroviral and cellular mRNA transport

    Photo: Maria 
L. Zapp Studies in this laboratory focus on the regulation of gene expression at the level of RNA nucleocytoplasmic transport. As a model system for studying nuclear RNA export, we are analyzing the mechanism of action of the novel HIV-1 Rev protein. This sequence-specific RNA binding protein faciliates the redistribution of HIV-1 mRNAs that encode the viral structural protein from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Atypical of cellular mRNAs, the gag-pol and env mRNAs leave the nucleus partially or completely unspliced. The molecular mechanism by which Rev mediates nucleocytoplasmic events remains unknown. Previous studies by several laboratories have shown that Rev function requires minimally a cis-acting sequences within the second intron of the viral pre-mRNAs, the Rev Responsive Element or "RRE" ; and a well-defined "effector" domain located at the carboxy-terminal portion of the protein. Recent studies have also identified a human nuclear-specific protein, hRIP, that interacts directly with the effector domain of Rev. The hRIP polypeptide is one possible candidate for a cellular factor that mediates Rev function. Moreover, in the absence of Rev, hRIP may play an important role in the nucleocytoplasmic transport of cellular RNAs. The identification and characterization of this cellular protein significantly enhances our ability to analyze the molecular details of Rev function and ultimately, cellular factors that mediate cellular nuclear RNA export.

    We are currently using biochemical and Xenopus laevis oocyte microinjection approaches to identify other cellular components that are required for Rev function. We have recently developed a novel in vitro nuclear RNA export assay to study cellular and viral nuclear RNA export in mammalian cells. Initially, we will use this assay system to probe Rev's mechanism of action. However, we anticipate that our in vitro nuclear RNA export assay will be a very useful tool for defining cellular factors that facilitate nuclear export of various classes of nuclear RNAs. Defining the functional role of these cellular components will provide needed insights into the molecular mechanism(s) of nuclear RNA export.


    Collapse Rotation Projects

    Rotation Projects

    • To test whether mutations in the regulatory genes enhance or block replication of the HCV replicon.

    • To test whether mutations in the regulatory genes enhance HCV cDNA replication in Huh-7 cells.

    • To identify cellular and viral factors required for replication of the HCV replicon in Huh-7 cells.


    Collapse Post Docs

    A postdoctoral position is available to study in this laboratory. Contact Dr. Zapp for additional details.


    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Tran NT, Heiner C, Weber K, Weiand M, Wilmot D, Xie J, Wang D, Brown A, Manokaran S, Su Q, Zapp ML, Gao G, Tai PWL. AAV-Genome Population Sequencing of Vectors Packaging CRISPR Components Reveals Design-Influenced Heterogeneity. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2020 Sep 11; 18:639-651. PMID: 32775498.
      Citations:    
    2. Tai PWL, Xie J, Fong K, Seetin M, Heiner C, Su Q, Weiand M, Wilmot D, Zapp ML, Gao G. Adeno-associated Virus Genome Population Sequencing Achieves Full Vector Genome Resolution and Reveals Human-Vector Chimeras. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2018 Jun 15; 9:130-141. PMID: 29766023.
      Citations:    
    3. Xie L, Gazin C, Park SM, Zhu LJ, Debily MA, Kittler EL, Zapp ML, Lapointe D, Gobeil S, Virbasius CM, Green MR. A synthetic interaction screen identifies factors selectively required for proliferation and TERT transcription in p53-deficient human cancer cells. PLoS Genet. 2012; 8(12):e1003151. PMID: 23284306.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    4. Iben JR, Epstein JA, Bayfield MA, Bruinsma MW, Hasson S, Bacikova D, Ahmad D, Rockwell D, Kittler EL, Zapp ML, Maraia RJ. Comparative whole genome sequencing reveals phenotypic tRNA gene duplication in spontaneous Schizosaccharomyces pombe La mutants. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jun; 39(11):4728-42. PMID: 21317186.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    5. Li C, Vagin VV, Lee S, Xu J, Ma S, Xi H, Seitz H, Horwich MD, Syrzycka M, Honda BM, Kittler EL, Zapp ML, Klattenhoff C, Schulz N, Theurkauf WE, Weng Z, Zamore PD. Collapse of germline piRNAs in the absence of Argonaute3 reveals somatic piRNAs in flies. Cell. 2009 May 01; 137(3):509-21. PMID: 19395009.
      Citations: 291     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    6. Kahn RA, Bruford E, Inoue H, Logsdon JM, Nie Z, Premont RT, Randazzo PA, Satake M, Theibert AB, Zapp ML, Cassel D. Consensus nomenclature for the human ArfGAP domain-containing proteins. J Cell Biol. 2008 Sep 22; 182(6):1039-44. PMID: 18809720.
      Citations: 73     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    7. Ghildiyal M, Seitz H, Horwich MD, Li C, Du T, Lee S, Xu J, Kittler EL, Zapp ML, Weng Z, Zamore PD. Endogenous siRNAs derived from transposons and mRNAs in Drosophila somatic cells. Science. 2008 May 23; 320(5879):1077-81. PMID: 18403677.
      Citations: 345     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    8. Yu Z, Sánchez-Velar N, Catrina IE, Kittler EL, Udofia EB, Zapp ML. The cellular HIV-1 Rev cofactor hRIP is required for viral replication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 15; 102(11):4027-32. PMID: 15749819.
      Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    9. Sánchez-Velar N, Udofia EB, Yu Z, Zapp ML. hRIP, a cellular cofactor for Rev function, promotes release of HIV RNAs from the perinuclear region. Genes Dev. 2004 Jan 01; 18(1):23-34. PMID: 14701878.
      Citations: 38     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    10. Dolganiuc A, Kodys K, Kopasz A, Marshall C, Do T, Romics L, Mandrekar P, Zapp M, Szabo G. Hepatitis C virus core and nonstructural protein 3 proteins induce pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and inhibit dendritic cell differentiation. J Immunol. 2003 Jun 01; 170(11):5615-24. PMID: 12759441.
      Citations: 78     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
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