Mon, Oct 5, 2020
Gisela Storz, PhD
National Institute of Health
NIH Distinguished Investigator
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Genes That Were Missed: Hundreds of Small RNA and Small Protein Regulators
For many years, a major focus of research by my group has been the identification and characterization of small, regulatory RNAs, also denoted “noncoding” RNAs. These regulatory RNAs have been found to be integral to most regulatory networks in E. coli. Similar to eukaryotic miRNAs, many of these bacterial RNAs act by base pairing with mRNA targets. While it was initially assumed these small RNAs are encoded as independent genes between protein-coding genes, recent studies have shown that some small RNAs are derived from the 5’ end, internal region and 3’ end of mRNAs. Thus, the distinction between coding and noncoding is becoming increasingly blurred. This blurring is further reflected in the finding that several small RNAs shown to act as regulators also encode small proteins. Small proteins of less than 50 amino acids comprise another overlooked class of molecules. We have detected synthesis of many of these unannotated small proteins and have documented functions as regulators that modulate the activities and levels of larger proteins.
Mon, Oct 19, 2020
Terri Long, PhD
North Carolina State University
Don’t Stress – Iron regulatory mechanisms at the intersection of plant development and multi stress resilience
Anemia induced by iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional disorders in the world. Most people obtain nutritional iron predominantly from plants. Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that plants use to uptake, transport, and utilize iron, and respond to low iron conditions. We use molecular and systems biology to identify iron deficiency response regulators and their corresponding gene targets, with the long-term goal of elucidating gene regulatory networks involved in plant iron homeostasis. Ultimately this information may lead to the generation of crops with increased nutritional content and increased yield when grown in poor soils.