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Macromolecular Structure Group

mRNA Stability & Translation

Traci M. T. Hall, Ph.D.
Traci M. T. Hall, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Tel (919) 541-1017
Fax (919) 316-4617
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop F3-05
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
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Research Summary

Crystal structures from the Macromolecular Structure GroupThe Macromolecular Structure Group uses structural biology and biochemical approaches to study post-transcriptional and translational gene regulation and RNA: protein interactions.

Post-transcriptional gene regulation by Puf proteins HuD recognition of AU-rich element RNA Protein-facilitated RNA splicing Post-transcriptional gene regulation by Puf proteins Mechanism of RNA silencing

Specifically, the group is studying Puf family RNA-binding proteins and proteins involved in RNA interference. Puf proteins contain an RNA-binding domain comprising eight sequence repeats and regulate gene expression by modulating mRNA stability or translation. In addition to understanding the mechanism of RNA sequence specificity, the Puf proteins are being used as templates to create designed RNA proteins that can be used to affect gene expression. The group also studies proteins involved in RNA interference through work on viral proteins that inhibit RNA silencing as well as proteins involved in processing small interfering RNA and microRNA.

Major areas of research:

  • Structure and function of proteins involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation
  • Understanding how proteins recognize RNA targets
  • Designing sequence-specific RNA-binding proteins

Current projects:

  • Using structure determination and biochemical approaches, the group seeks to understand how Puf family proteins and other RNA-binding proteins specifically recognize their target RNA sequences.
  • Using the human Pumilio1 RNA-binding domain as a template, the group seeks to create designed RNA-binding proteins that recognize specific RNA sequences and can be used as research tools.
  • Using structure determination and biochemical approaches, the group seeks to understand the function of proteins involved in RNA silencing.

Traci M.T. Hall, Ph.D., is a tenured principal investigator leading the Macromolecular Structure Group within the Laboratory of Structural Biology. She earned her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. in pharmacology and molecular sciences from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She was a AAAS Diplomacy Fellow with the U.S. Agency for International Development and a postdoctoral fellow with Daniel J. Leahy at Johns Hopkins before joining the NIEHS in 1998.

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