Protein-Nucleic Acid Interaction Section
Yun-Xing Wang, Ph.D.
Head, PNAI Section
Building 538, Room 133
Frederick National Lab
Frederick, MD 27102-1201
The long term research interests of my group are to understand the fundamental interactions
regulating essential events involving RNA in the translational and post-translational
processes on both the structural and cellular levels using NMR spectroscopy and
various other biophysical, biochemical, and biological methods.
Currently, the lab focuses on the key structural element(s) in 3' and 5' prime UTR
RNAs that are important for gene regulation. One example is the 3' UTR of the VEGF
mRNA. A 3' UTR RNA fragment in the VEGF mRNA regulates its own gene expression by
interacting with EPRS and hnRNAP-L. VEGF is the most dominant protein factor in
angiogensis and plays a very important role in many types of tumors, including breast
cancer. My lab is studying the structural basis of an adenine riboswitch, which
regulates the gene expression in response to the level of adenine as a metabolite.
This riboswitch is located in the 5' end of bacterial mRNA. The structural knowledge
of the switching may be important to understand the fundamental mechanism of regulation
of gene expression by RNA regulators.
Because of the difficulties encountered in using existing methods to determine the
structures of large RNAs, we are also engaged in developing new methods to achieve
our research objectives. One such method is combined use of small angle X-ray scattering
(SAXS) with NMR for structure determination of large RNAs, protein complexes and
large molecular assemblies in solution. This lab has been at forefront of promoting
the use of SAXS as a complementary tool to NMR for structural biology research.
Furthermore, we are also developing new methods for determining high-resolution
structures of large RNA in solution and research to achieve this goal is well underway.
- Solution NMR spectroscopy
- Solution neutron and X-ray scattering
- Other biophysical methods
Current Research Projects
- How the HIV-1 knows to pick up its own genome, not it's host's, to export for
- Use of a combined approach to determine three-dimensional structures of large
RNAs in solution state
Accomplished Research Projects
- The 3P program
- The dynamics and structure of ribosome protein
- Structural biology study of the receptor associated