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Rotation Projects

Rotation Projects

Rotation projects are available to address the following questions:

  1. How does the lack of structure in the C-terminal zinc finger of TTP affect the activity of the protein in the cell?

In humans, there are three members in the TTP protein family: TTP, TIS11b and TIS11d. Structural studies performed by us and others have shown that while the TZF domain of TTP is partially unstructured in the free state and folds upon binding RNA, those of TIS11d and TIS11b are always folded. We have shown that the degree of structure of the TZF domain affects the activity of the protein in cells and indicates that the protein can modulate its activity through its dynamics. We want to determine whether structural disorder is directly linked to cellular stability or protein localization


  1. How do mutations in the RNA-binding domain of TIS11d cause cancer?

Several point mutation in TTP and TIS11d have been linked to cancer. In particular, point mutations in the RNA-binding domain of TIS11d are found in leukemia patients. We are currently working on the characterization of the structure, dynamics and biological activity of these mutant proteins to understand their role in the pathogenesis of cancer.


  1. How does HuR regulate the stability of its target mRNA?

HuR is another protein that, like TTP, binds to AU-rich elements (ARE) in mRNAs and regulate their stability. The detailed mechanisms that determine how HuR regulates transcripts stability are poorly understood. We are investigating how binding or HuR to the 3’UTR of an mRNA leads to its stabilization.

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  • Zinc