Shuo  Gu, Ph.D.

Shuo Gu, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Building 560, Room 11-83B
  • Frederick, MD 21702
  • 301-846-5447
RNA Biology Laboratory


Dr. Gu’s research focuses on the mechanisms of RNA interference and microRNA pathways, and their applications in cancer treatment. MiRNAs play essential roles in gene regulation networks, human diseases and cancer. Research in the Gu lab aims to unveil the mechanisms of miRNA biogenesis, post-transcriptional modifications, and biological functions in mammalian systems. This information will then be used to test novel RNA-based approaches designed to alter gene expression with improved safety, off-targeting, and potency profiles, which can then be used as tools for biological discovery and therapeutics.

Areas of Expertise

Non-Coding RNA
Gene Therapy


Selected Recent Publications

TENT2, TUT4, and TUT7 selectively regulate miRNA sequence and abundance

Yang A, Bofill-De Ros X, Stanton R, Shao TJ, Villanueva P, Gu S.
Nature Communications. 13(1): 5260, 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

AGO-bound Mature miRNAs Are Oligouridylated by TUTs and Subsequently Degraded by DIS3L2

Yang A, Shao TJ, Bofill-De Ros X, Lian C, Villanueva P, Dai L, Gu S.
Nat Commun. 2020. [ Journal Article ]

3' Uridylation Confers miRNAs with Non-canonical Target Repertories

Yang A, Bofill-De Ros X, Shao TJ, Jiang M, Li K, Villanueva P, Dai L, Gu S.
Mol Cell. May 25: 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Structural Differences between Pri-miRNA Paralogs Promote Alternative Drosha Cleavage and Expand Target Repertoires

Bofill-De Ros X, Kasprzak WK, Bhandari Y, Fan L, Cavanaugh Q, Jiang M, Dai L, Yang A, Shao TJ, Shapiro BA, Wang YX, Gu S.
Cell reports. 26: 447-459, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Cytoplasmic Drosha activity generated by alternative splicing.

Dai L, Chen K, Youngren B, Kulina J, Yang A, Guo Z, Li J, Yu P, Gu S.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Dec 1;44(21): 10454-10466, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

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Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Sharan Malagobadan, Ph.D.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Alexi Misciagna
Postdoctoral Fellow
Indranil Mondal, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)
Chunmei Shi, M.D., Ph.D.


FARE2023 Winners – Fellows Award for Research Excellence

Chunmei Shi, Sharan Malagobadan, Karrie Spain & James Shamul

2023 Spring Research Festival Poster Blitz - 3rd Place: Karrie Spain, NCI: “Mapping Functional microRNA Target Sites in vivo by RNA Editing”

Congratulations to Acong Yang, recipient of the 2022 NCI Director's Innovation Award.

Gene-regulating microRNAs gain control over hundreds of new genes with common sequence modification


miRNAs, lncRNAs and circRNAs are newfound types of non-coding RNAs that are shedding light on the regulation of gene expression.
Photo courtesy of the NIH IRP 

MicroRNAs have an enormous influence over what happens inside cells. By blocking the activity of specific sets of genes, they help control virtually every known biological pathway and process. Disruptions in microRNAs have been linked to many diseases, and understanding how these molecules function, which genes they control and how they themselves are regulated are high priorities in cancer research. 

New research from Shuo Gu, Ph.D., Investigator in the RNA Biology Laboratory, shows that when a microRNA undergoes a common modification called uridylation, its genetic targets change. A single microRNA can regulate hundreds of different genes, but when a microRNA is uridylated, the team found, even more genes come under its control. 

Modifications to microRNAs that either clip off or add to their short sequences are widespread, but it has not been know what effect these modifications have on microRNA function. Until the new study, reported June 6, 2019, in Molecular Cell, there were few clues to suggest that uridylation might alter the way a microRNA interacts with its targets.

2019 CCR Excellence in Postdoctoral Transition Award


Xavier Bofill de Ros Visiting Fellow; mapping the miRNA maturation defects that lead to malignancy.

Outstanding Poster Award at the 2019 Spring Research Festival

Richard Ma (intern) - Gene Therapy Genome Editing, and Genetics

Congratulations to our Postbac Poster Day 2019 recipient

Ben Birkenfeld CRTA - Outstanding Poster Award

Congratulations to our NCI Director's Innovation Award recipients -

2020 Xavier Bofill de Ros Visiting Fellow

2018 Acong Yang Research Fellow

2017 Xavier Bofill de Ros Visiting Fellow


Cell Reports Cover January 2019

Structural Differences between Pri-miRNA Paralogs Promote Alternative Drosha Cleavage and Expand Target Repertoires

Published Date

MicroRNA biogenesis begins with Drosha cleavage, the fidelity of which is critical for downstream processing and mature miRNA target specificity. Bofill-De Ros et al. studied the maturation of three pri-miRNAs, which encode the same mature miRNA but differ in the surrounding structure. They see altered cleavage due to distorted and flexible stem structure of one of the miRNAs and show that distortion in the stem appears to be a general mechanism for 5′ isoform generation. Image of pri-miRNA structures and Drosha created by Xavier Bofill-De Ros


Xavier Bofill-De Ros, Cell Reports, Volume 26, ISSUE 2, P447-459.e4, January 08, 2019