It is now evident that large non-coding (nc) RNAs not only play a central role in many biological processes, but also have well-defined tertiary structures that are crucial to their function. A new paradigm has been established showing that gene expression can be orchestrated by large non-coding (nc) RNAs. We are only beginning to understand the essential role of RNA and RNA-protein interactions in biology.
Our research involves understanding the mechanisms and architecture of ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) that encompass chromatin biology and RNA processing. Investigating these RNP complexes will help us to better understand how large, ncRNAs regulate gene expression. We incorporate biochemistry, structural biology, transcriptome-wide approaches, and chemical biology tools to examine the details of protein-RNA interactions and RNP complexes. Studying these RNP molecular machines will serve to enhance our knowledge of the RNA-protein frontier.
Global architecture (a) and active site location (b-c) for the bacterial Ribonuclease (RNase) P holoenzyme in complex with tRNA derived from experimental x-ray crystallographic data. RNase P is an ancient and universal RNA-based enzyme that acts to process transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules.