Academic department under which the project should be listed

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Mentor Name

Anton Bryantsev

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Nuclear bodies (NBs) (e.g., the nucleolus, nuclear speckles, and others) are membraneless compartments within the eukaryotic cell nucleus that selectively accumulate and retain specific nuclear proteins. NBs have become a new interest in recent discoveries because of their potential involvement in cancer and neurological disorders. However, the regulation and function of NBs are still enigmatic. Our laboratory studies a specific type of NBs, called B-bodies, to understand how NBs are formed and regulated in the nucleus. We hypothesized that long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) functions as a structural scaffold of NBs.

The B-body is a recently discovered NB expressed in the flight muscles of the fruit fly (Drosophila). B-bodies contain a protein called Bruno (Bru), which is essential for proper flight muscle development. Using advanced staining methods and microscopy, we identified the presence of the lncRNA Hsr-omega within B-bodies. Using genetic techniques, we removed Hsr-omega and, separately, Bru from the cells to analyze the resulting effects on the integrity of B-bodies. Based on our findings, it is the RNA component, not the protein component, that plays a pivotal role in assembling the B-body. Future studies should understand the mechanism of Bru trafficking in B-body and the function of Hsr-omega besides the scaffold of B-body.

Disciplines

Cell Biology | Genetics and Genomics | Molecular Genetics

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The role of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) in the organization of nuclear bodies

Nuclear bodies (NBs) (e.g., the nucleolus, nuclear speckles, and others) are membraneless compartments within the eukaryotic cell nucleus that selectively accumulate and retain specific nuclear proteins. NBs have become a new interest in recent discoveries because of their potential involvement in cancer and neurological disorders. However, the regulation and function of NBs are still enigmatic. Our laboratory studies a specific type of NBs, called B-bodies, to understand how NBs are formed and regulated in the nucleus. We hypothesized that long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) functions as a structural scaffold of NBs.

The B-body is a recently discovered NB expressed in the flight muscles of the fruit fly (Drosophila). B-bodies contain a protein called Bruno (Bru), which is essential for proper flight muscle development. Using advanced staining methods and microscopy, we identified the presence of the lncRNA Hsr-omega within B-bodies. Using genetic techniques, we removed Hsr-omega and, separately, Bru from the cells to analyze the resulting effects on the integrity of B-bodies. Based on our findings, it is the RNA component, not the protein component, that plays a pivotal role in assembling the B-body. Future studies should understand the mechanism of Bru trafficking in B-body and the function of Hsr-omega besides the scaffold of B-body.