Jason R. Stagno, Ph.D.

Jason R. Stagno, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Center for Structural Biology


As a structural biologist, my research has focused on structure determination by X-ray crystallography to study with atomic precision proteins, nucleic acids, and their complexes, and to determine structure-function relationships. In the Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions Section, we employ a diverse set of biophysical techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and X-ray crystallography to study protein-nucleic acid complexes and their atomic interactions. A complementary-methods approach allows us to address significant biological questions more completely and more accurately at the molecular level. Such information is highly valuable for: visualizing the molecular steps of important cellular processes; understanding how specific sequences, domains, molecular folds, and macromolecular complexes are essential for their cellular functions; understanding substrate binding and specificity; elucidating mechanisms of catalysis; and structure-based therapeutic design.

Areas of Expertise

Structural Biology
Molecular Biology And Biochemistry
X-ray Crystallography
Protein-nucleic Acid Interactions
Transcription Regulation
RNA Editing


Selected Key Publications

Structures of riboswitch RNA reaction states by mix-and-inject XFEL serial crystallography

Stagno JR, Liu Y, Bhandari YR, Conrad CE, Panja S, Swain M, Fan L, Nelson G, Li C, Wendel DR, White TA, Barty A, Coe JD, Wiedorn MO, Knoska J, Obertheur D, Tuckey RA, Yu P, Dyba M, Tarasov SG, Weierstall U, Zatsepin NA, Grant TD, Schwieters CD, Zhang J, Ferré-D'Amaré AR, Fromme P, Draper DE, Tan K, Chapman H, Zuo X, Hunter MS, Boutet S, Ji X, Spence JCH, Woodson SA, Wang Y-X.
Nature. 541: 242-246, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Crystal structure of a plectonemic RNA supercoil

Stagno JR, Ma B, Li J, Altieri AS, Byrd RA, Ji X.
Nat Commun. 3: 901, 2012. [ Journal Article ]

Structural basis for RNA recognition by NusB and NusE in the initiation of transcription antitermination

Stagno JR, Altieri AS, Bubunenko M, Tarasov SG, Li J, Court DL, Byrd RA, Ji X.
Nucleic Acids Res. 39: 7803-15, 2011. [ Journal Article ]

Structure of the mitochondrial editosome-like complex associated TUTase 1 reveals divergent mechanisms of UTP selection and domain organization

Stagno J, Aphasizheva I, Bruystens J, Luecke H, Aphasizhev R.
J Mol Biol. 399: 464-75, 2010. [ Journal Article ]

Dual role of the RNA substrate in selectivity and catalysis by terminal uridylyl transferases

Stagno J, Aphasizheva I, Aphasizhev R, Luecke H.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104: 14634-9, 2007. [ Journal Article ]