Shalini  Oberdoerffer, Ph.D.

Shalini Oberdoerffer, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Research in Dr. Oberdoerffer’s laboratory examines the mechanisms by which human genes are functionally diversified to expand proteomic complexity. In specific, they investigate how epigenetic regulation shapes and defines coded intent. Broadly defined as changes in gene expression that are unrelated to DNA sequence, epigenetic regulation is achieved through nucleic acid modifications that alter the biochemical properties of DNA or RNA. Accordingly, nucleic acid modifications have the potential to achieve a de facto expansion of the genetic code. As the archetype for epigenetic control within DNA, they specifically examine the role of cytosine modifications in DNA and RNA modifications in determining: 1) how a single gene generates multiple protein-coding variants, and 2) how a single mRNA molecule dictates distinct protein fates during the process of translation. Ultimately, they aim at understanding how cytosine modifications contribute to the etiology of disease and potentially identify avenues for novel therapeutic interventions.

Areas of Expertise

Alternative Pre-Mrna Splicing


Selected Recent Publications

Direct epitranscriptomic regulation of mammalian translation initiation through N4-acetylcytidine

Arango, D., Sturgill, D., Yang, R., Kanai, T., Bauer, P., Roy, J., Wang, Z., Hosogane, M., Schiffers,
S., Oberdoerffer, S.
Molecular Cell. 82(15): 2797-2814, 2022. [ Journal Article ]

Acetylation of Cytidine in mRNA Promotes Translation Efficiency

D Arango, D Sturgill, N Alhusaini, AA Dillman, TJ Sweet, G Hanson, M Hosogane, WR Sinclair, KK Nanan, MD Mandler, SD Fox, TT Zengeya, T Andresson, JL Meier, J Coller, and S Oberdoerffer
Cell. 175: 1-15, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Independence between pre-mRNA splicing and DNA methylation in an isogenic minigene resource

Nanan, K.K., Ochletree, C., Sturgill, D., Mandler, M.D., Prigge, M., Varma, G., Oberdoerffer, S.
Nucleic Acids Research. 45(22): 12780-12797, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

TET-catalyzed oxidation of intragenic 5-methylcytosine regulates CTCF-dependent alternative splicing

Marina, R., Sturgill, D., Bailly, M., Thenoz, M., Varma, G., Prigge, M., Nanan, K., Shukla, S., Haque, N., Oberdoerffer, S.,
EMBO J.. 35(3): 335-55, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

CTCF-promoted RNA polymerase II pausing links DNA methylation to splicing

Shukla S, Kavak E, Gregory M, Imashimizu M, Shutinoski B, Kashlev M, Oberdoerffer P, Sandberg R, Oberdoerffer S.
Nature. 479(7371): 74-79, 2011. [ Journal Article ]

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