Research Summary / Selected Publications
Research topics: Functional genomics of RNA, RNA epigenetics, RNA folding.
Translational regulation is related to the dynamic properties of tRNA that constantly change to facilitate stress response and adaptation to new environments and to control gene expression. We developed microarray methods that measure tRNA abundance, fraction of aminoacylation and misacylation at the genomic scale. We are exploring roles of tRNA in translational control in mammalian cells.
A central tenet of biology is the accurate flow of information from nucleic acids to proteins through the genetic code. We discovered that mammalian cells can deliberately reprogram the genetic code through tRNA misacylation upon innate immune activation and chemically triggered oxidative stress. The reprogramming is regulated by fluctuating levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cell. We are investigating how regulated mis-translation is used as a mechanism for stress response.
Over 100 types of post-transcriptional RNA modifications have been identified in thousands of sites from bacteria to humans. They include methylation of bases and the ribose backbone, rotation and reduction of uridine, base deamination, addition of ring structures and carbohydrate...
Pavon-Eternod, M., S. Gomes, M.R. Rosner* & Tao Pan*: Overexpression of Initiator Methionine tRNA Leads to Global Reprogramming of tRNA Expression and Increased Proliferation in Human Epithelial Cells, RNA, in press (2013).
Li, M-Q., E. Kao, X. Gao, H. Sandig, K. Limmer, M. Pavon Eternod, T. Jones, S. Landry, Tao Pan, M.D. Weitzman & M. David: Codon usage-based Inhibition of HIV Protein Synthesis by Human Schlafen 11, Nature 491, 125-8 (2012).
Starck, S.R., V. Jiang, M. Pavon-Eternod, S. Prasad, B. McCarthy, Tao Pan, N. Shastri: Leucine-tRNA Initiates at CUG Start Codons for Protein Synthesis and Presentation by MHC Class I, Science 336, 1719-1723 (2012).