Interaction between protein and RNA is central to cellular and viral processes ranging from expressing genes to directing cell mortality. These processes are highly dynamic in involving RNA-RNA and RNA-protein structural rearrangements. Yet it remains poorly understood how these processes are directed and regulated. Together with our collaborator Dr. Johnson (University of Texas, Austin), we identify and investigate the function of proteins that are essential for ribosome biogenesis—a vital cellular process that is emerging as an unexplored target for cancer treatment.
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS IN THE CORRELL LAB
One project is to investigate the mechanism by which the DEAH helicase Dhr1 dislodges U3 from the pre-ribosome, a key step in ribosome biogenesis. We have a paper in press at PLOS Biology that identifies Dhr1 as the helicase that dislodges U3 from the pre-rRNA in vivo and we show in vitro that Dhr1 unwinds U3-pre-rRNA duplexes in a mechanism reminiscent of DEAD box proteins. We are a subcontractor for Dr. Johnson on an NIH grant entitled “Biogenesis of the Small Ribosomal Subunit in Eukaryote”, which is funded until 02/28/18.
A second project is to investigate the regulation of Dhr1 by Utp14 and the regulation of Imp3 and Imp4 by Mpp10. This project is a collaboration with Drs. Johnson and Jin (DePaul University). This is funded by a DePaul-RFUMS Research Pilot Grant project entitled "Assembly of Essential Complexes for Eukaryotic Ribosome Biogenesis" and is funded until 11/30/15.