Gene Regulation, Stems Cells and Cancer


Regulation of Protein Synthesis in Eukaryotes

Fátima Gebauer
Olga Coll
Laurence Wurth, Santiago Guerrero, Tanit Guitart
Marina García, Himapriyanka Nadimpali, Marta Inglés
Anna Ribó


Figure 1. Crystal structure of the SXL:UNR:msl2 complex…

Figure 2. Model for the role of UNR in male dosage compensation.

Our group is interested is the regulation of mRNA translation during embryo development and disease. In particular, we investigate how RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) regulate translation and how this is connected with general cell homeostasis and cancer progression. As RBPs are capable of binding hundreds of transcripts, their alterations often have widespread consequences in gene expression and may lead to cell malfunction. Progress during 2014 include collaborative work showing new interactions by which general RBPs cooperatively bind to RNA (Figure 1), and novel roles for the regulator UNR in X-chromosome dosage compensation (Figure 2). The data illustrate and expand the plasticity of RBPs for gene regulation.

Research Projects

  • Molecular mechanisms of msl2 translational repression
  • Role of RNA binding proteins in Drosophila X-chromosome dosage compensation
  • Cytoplasmic polyadenylation in early Drosophila embryos
  • RNA binding proteins and melanoma progression

Selected Publications

Hennig J, Gebauer F, Sattler M.
“Breaking the protein-RNA recognition code.”
Cell Cycle, 13:3619-20 (2014).

Wurth L and Gebauer F.
“RNA binding proteins, multifaceted translational regulators in cancer.”
Biochim Biophys Acta, pii:S1874-9399(14)00259-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2014.10.001 (2014).

Militti C*, Maenner S*, Becker PB and Gebauer F.
“UNR facilitates the interaction of MLE with the lncRNA roX2 during Drosophila dosage compensation.”
Nat. Commun., 5:4762 (2014). (*) co-first authorship

Hennig J, Militti C, Popowicz GM, Wang I, Sonntag M, Geerlof A, Gabel F, Gebauer F*, Sattler M*.
“Structural basis for the assembly of the SXL-UNR translation regulatory complex.”
Nature, 515:287-90 (2014). (*) co-corresponding

Coll O, Villalba A and Gebauer F.
“Cytoplasmic polyadenylation assays.”
Methods Mol Biol, 1125: 53-63 (2014).