Elizabeth J. Tran

Elizabeth J. Tran Profile Picture

Assistant Professor
2004 PhD in Biochemistry, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 1998 BS in Genetics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Contact Info:


Training Group(s):
Chromatin and Regulation of Gene Expression
Computational and Systems Biology
Cancer Biology

Active Mentor - currently hosting PULSe students for laboratory rotations and recruiting PULSe students into the laboratory; serves on preliminary exam committees

Current Research Interests:

Gene expression in eukaryotes requires transcription, messenger RNA (mRNA) processing and nuclear mRNA export prior to translation of a given gene product. Current studies have demonstrated that the precise RNA-binding protein composition governs each of these steps, ensuring that only properly processed mRNAs are translated. Our group studies the role of DEAD-box proteins in gene expression, a group of ATPases that control RNA: protein interactions in vivo. Our research uses the budding yeast model system, combining classical yeast genetics with cellular microscopy and biochemistry. We are currently focused on the DEAD-box protein Dbp2, which is thought to regulate transcription through an as-of-yet uncharacterized mechanism. Importantly, Dbp2 (p68/DDX5 in mammals) acts as an oncogene in higher eukaryotes, promoting tumor development in a variety of tissues including lung, liver, breast and colon. Therefore, our basic research will define unique mechanisms for controlling cellular proliferation, providing key insights into multiple cancer types.

Selected Publications:

1. Bolger, T. A., Folkman, A. W., Tran, E. J., Wente, S. R. (2008) Inositol Hexakisphosphate Differentially Regulates Roles for the mRNA in Export Factor Gle1 Specific Stages of Translation. Cell. 134: 624-633.

2. Tran, E. J., Bolger, T. A., Wente, S. R. (2007) Snapshot: Receptor-mediated Nuclear Import and Export. Cell. 131: 420.

3. Tran, E. J., Zhou, Y., Corbett, A. H., Wente, S. R. (2007) The DEAD-box Protein Dbp5 Controls mRNA Export by Triggering Specific RNA:protein Remodeling Events. Mol Cell 28: 850-859.

4. Tran, E. J., Wente, S. R. (2006) Dynamic Nuclear Pore Complexes: Life on the Edge. Cell 125: 1041-1053.

5. Alcazar-Roman, A., Tran, E. J., Guo, S. L., Wente, S. R. (2006) Inositol Hexakisphosphate and Gle1 Activate the DEAD-box Protein Dbp5 for Nuclear mRNA Export. Nat Cell Biol. 8: 711-716.

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