Our
Projects

We use in vivo and in vitro models of stroke and apply a variety of methodologies such as  in situ hybridization, immunoprecipitation, immunochemistry, high-throughput sequencing, microarrays, reporter assays, gain- or loss-of-function strategies, imaging, and bioinformatics to study RNA biology and function in brain damage.

LncRNAs and Regulation of Transcription

We use in vivo and in vitro models of stroke and apply a variety of methodologies such as  in situ hybridization, immunoprecipitation, immunochemistry, high-throughput sequencing, microarrays, reporter assays, gain- or loss-of-function strategies, imaging, and bioinformatics to study RNA biology and function in brain damage.

chromatin.webp

The roles of enhancer RNAs in regulating post-stroke gene expression and brain damage

Enhancers undergo activity-dependent transcription to produce noncoding enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) that play central roles in organizing functional interactions between the enhancers and their downstream gene targets, and ultimately influence cellular outcomes. We recently identified several novel stroke-responsive eRNAs in the post-stroke cerebral cortex. Loss-of-function experiments resulted in pronounced molecular and phenotypic outcomes, which strongly suggest important functional roles for the eRNAs in the post-stroke brain. Our current work in this area is focused on identifying the molecular targets of the eRNAs, evaluating the cellular and physiological processes that they influence, and determining sex-dependent expression and functions of the eRNAs using in vitro and in vivo models of stroke.

Screen Shot 2021-05-29 at 12.48.07 PM.png

Discovery of novel protein isoforms in the post-stroke brain

In gene expression, one of the most important processes is the alternative splicing of RNA that results in multiple, distinct mRNAs. Alternative splicing enables the cell to generate a diverse complement of transcripts from a limited number of genes to facilitate diversification of function, and such molecular and functional diversity is bound to have implications for development and disease. In mammals, alternative splicing is most prevalent in the brain. Recently, we identified a number of novel alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms that were significantly altered at one or more post-stroke reperfusion time-points as compared to sham controls. Further analysis of these novel mRNA sequences suggested that they may yield novel proteins. Altered spatiotemporal expression of these novel proteins may have implications for the pathophysiological outcomes in stroke. Our current work is focused on examining the translational products of the novel mRNAs, evaluating their cellular and subcellular expression in the mouse brain as a function of post-stroke reperfusion time, identifying their functions and functional partners, and determining their expression patterns as a function of age and sex.

Screen Shot 2021-05-29 at 12.48.25 PM.png
  • LinkedIn
  • Researchgate
  • Google Scholar icon
  • Twitter