Roger Wartell, Professor
About Roger Wartell
Ph.D., Physics, University of Rochester
Office: Parker H. Petit Biotechnology (IBB) 1307
Protein-RNA interactions related to bacterial sRNA regulation of gene expression. Assembly and catalytic activity of short RNAs in solution and ice, and their potential role in the pre-biotic evolution of complex RNA structures.
Current research is directed at understanding the interaction of the RNA-binding protein Hfq with short regulatory RNAs and their specific RNA target sites. Short non-coding regulatory RNAs (sRNA) are important elements in the regulation of gene expression for bacteria. Hfq is a bacterial RNA-binding protein that facilitates the hybridization of sRNAs to their target regions on specific mRNAs. Hfq is highly conserved among bacterial phyla and has been shown to be a virulence factor in several bacterial species. The interactions of wild type and mutant Hfq proteins with various RNAs are being examined. Biochemical/ biophysical methods such as the electrophoresis mobility shift assay, fluorescence spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry are being employed to better understand how Hfq enhances sRNA-mRNA interactions.
Other studies are directed at understanding the factors influencing the assembly and catalytic activity of short RNAs under conditions that could have been conducive to prebiotic reactions that led to complex RNA structures. Studies using RNA oligomers and known ribozymes such as the hammerhead ribozyme may support the hypothesis that the genetic basis of cellular life may have evolved from an 'RNA World.'
"Domain III of the T. thermophiles 23S rRNA folds independently to a near-native state" S. S. Athavale, J. J. Gossett, C. Hsiao, J. C. Bowman, E. O'Neill, E. Hershkovitz, T.Preeprem, N. V. Hud, R.M. Wartell, S.C.Harvey, L. D.Williams RNA 10.1261/rna.030692.111, 2012
"RNA Folding and Catalysis Mediated by Iron (II)" S.S. Athavale, A.S. Petrov, C. Hsiao, D. Watkins, J. Gossett, L. Lie, J. Bowman, E. O'Neil, C. Bernier, N. Hud, R. M. Wartell, S.C. Harvey, L.D. Williams PLoS One 7- e38024, 1-7, 2012
"The stoichiometry of the Escherichia coli Hfq protein bound to RNA" T. B. Updegrove, J.J. Correia, Y. Chen, C. Terry, R M. Wartell RNA 17, 489-499, 2011
"The influence of Escherichia coli Hfq mutations on RNA binding and sRNA-mRNA duplex formation in rpoS riboregulation" T. B. Updegrove and R.M. Wartell, Biochimica Biophysica Acta 1809, 532-540, 2011
"Thermodynamics of sRNA-mRNA interactions and the role of Hfq" K. Jain, T.B. Updegrove, R.M. Wartell Frontiers in Nucleic Acids (ACS Symposium Series), R. Sheardy ed. Ch. 7, pp. 111-129, 2011
"RNA tetraloop folding reveals tension between backbone restraints and molecular interactions." S. Mohan, C. Hsiao, J.C. Bowman, R.M. Wartell, L.D. Williams, J Am Chem Soc. 132, 12679-89, 2010.
"E. coli DNA associated with Hfq interacts with Hfq's distal surface and C-terminal domain." T. Updegrove, J.J. Correia, R. Galletto, W. Bujalowski, R. M. Wartell Biochim Biophys Acta. 1799, 588-96, 2010.
Mohan S, Hsiao C, Vandeusen H, Gallagher R, Krohn E, Kalahar B, Wartell RM, Williams LD. Mechanism of RNA Double Helix-Propagation at Atomic Resolution (dagger). J Phys Chem B. 2009 Jan 7.
Galyuk EN, Wartell RM, Dosin YM, Lando DY. DNA denaturation under freezing in alkaline medium. J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2009 Feb;26(4):517-23.
Mohan S, Hsiao C, VanDeusen H, Gallagher R, Krohn E, Kalahar B, Wartell RM, Williams LD. Mechanism of RNA double helix-propagation at atomic resolution. J Phys Chem B. 2009 Mar 5;113(9):2614-23.