The Molecular Biology of Cytoplasmic Capping

Cytoplasmic RNA recapping, the process by which cells can return a 7-methylguanosine (m7G) cap onto an uncapped mRNA, is an epitranscriptomic process with large potential in post-transcriptional gene regulation.  Currently, much remains unknown about this potentially vital process. The lab uses both transcriptome-wide (RNA-seq, ribosome profiling, and oxford nanopore long read sequencing) and targeted methods (qPCR, polysome gradients, etc.).

The lab’s ultimate goals with respect to cytoplasmic capping are to:

  1. Elucidate the mechanisms by which RNAs are generated for the recapping machinery
  2. Determine how uncapped mRNA ends are recognized and targeted for recapping
  3. Complete the characterization of the cytoplasmic capping complex
  4. Assess the effect of cytoplasmic capping on the proteome
  5. Uncover the evolutionary role of cytoplasmic RNA recapping
  6. Learn which cellular proteins play a role in cytoplasmic capping

We hypothesize that mis-regulated cytoplasmic capping can drive oncogenic transformation and chronic stress responses that have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Eventually, we hope that a more detailed knowledge of cytoplasmic capping could be used to develop drug responsiveness screens and/or RNA therapeutics.

Current Support:

NIH – NIGMS: R35GM137819  (8/2020 – 6/2025; PI: Kiss, DL)

Houston Methodist Research Institute Career Cornerstone Award – (1/2021 – 12/2025; PI: Kiss, DL)

Past Support:

Career Development Award from the American Heart Association
(20CDA35310329; 7/2020 – 6/2023; PI: Kiss, DL)

molecule images from: Goodsell DS, Autin L, Olson AJ (2019) Illustrate: Software for Biomolecular Illustration. Structure (Epub ahead of print), doi: 10.1016/j.str.2019.08.011.

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