Our lab focuses on studying nonsense-mediated decay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast.  Read below to learn more about our ongoing research.

Research Interest

Regulation of gene expression at the messenger RNA (mRNA) level is essential to ensure rapid response to environmental changes. The Nonsense-mediated mRNA (NMD) decay is a translation dependent mRNA degradation pathway found in all tested eukaryotes from yeast to humans. NMD was originally identified as a pathway that recognizes and rapidly degrades mRNAs that contain premature termination codons. Thus, preventing the synthesis of potentially deleterious truncated proteins. NMD is now also recognized as a pathway that degrades natural mRNAs that code for fully functional proteins, therefore regulating gene expression. 

Natural mRNAs regulated by NMD contain features that trigger their degradation by NMD. Importantly, degradation of natural mRNAs by the pathway occurs in specific cellular context and environmental conditions. We are interested in how different environmental cues influence targeting of natural mRNAs by NMD using the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In addition, we examine the physiological consequences that result from the regulation of specific natural mRNAs. These research will provide insights into the targeting of natural mRNA and enable the categorization of cellular processes regulated NMD. It is important to understand natural mRNA regulation by NMD given that these mRNAs are found in multiple organisms including humans. Furthermore, The NMD pathway in humans is being targeted to treat genetic diseases caused by genes that contain nonsense codons.

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