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July 15th, Seminar - Sheng Zhong

Mapping RNA-RNA interactome and RNA structure in vivo by MARIO

Sheng Zhong, PhD

Professor of Bioengineering,

University of California, San Diego



Dr. Sheng Zhong double majored in Mathematics and Economics in Beijing University. He obtained a Ph.D. in Biostatistics and fulfilled a Ph.D. Minor of Molecular Biology at Harvard University. He worked at Stanford University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign before moving to UCSD. He received NSF CAREER Award, Alfred Sloan Fellowship, and NIH Pioneer Award. He serves as an Associate Editor for PLoS Computational Biology, and the contact PI for NIH 4D Nucleome organizational hub.



The pervasive transcription of our genome presents a possibility of revealing new genomic functions by investigating RNA interactions. Current methods for mapping RNA-RNA interactions have to rely on an “anchor” protein or RNA, and often require molecular perturbations. Here we present the MARIO (Mapping RNA interactome in vivo) technology to massively reveal RNA-RNA interactions from unperturbed cells. We mapped tens of thousands of endogenous RNA-RNA interactions from mouse embryonic stem cells and brain. We validated seven interactions by RNA antisense purification and one interaction using single molecule RNA-FISH. The experimentally derived RNA interactome is a scale-free network, which is not expected from currently perceived promiscuity in RNA-RNA interactions. Base pairing is observed at the interacting regions between long RNAs, including transposon transcripts, suggesting a class of regulatory sequences acting in trans. In addition, MARIO data reveal thousands of intra-molecule interactions, providing in vivo data on high-order RNA structures. 


Time: July 15, 2016 10:30-11:30

Venue: Room 143, New Biology Building

Host: Dr. Zhi Lu



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