Translation and Translational Regulation
We are interested in the fine details of cellular processes, and the large cellular machines that perform them. Understanding the mechanisms of essential RNA-protein complexes in gene expression has been the focus of our current research. We study the assembly, structure, function and regulation of these RNA-protein complexes in translation.
Translation is an essential process that synthesizes proteins in every living cell. Protein synthesis is a major metabolic activity in all organisms. All proteins in a cell are synthesized in a spectacular molecular machine called ribosome, which translates all the messenger RNAs expressed in the genome into functional proteins. While the mechanism of messenger RNA-directed, ribosome-catalyzed protein synthesis is fundamentally the same in all organisms, regulations of this essential cellular process demonstrate remarkable diversity. We use structural biology tools, complemented by other biophysical, biochemical, genetic and genomic methods, to gain insights into translation and how this process is regulated.
Translation directly influences important cellular processes such as development, differentiation, growth, cell fitness and cellular adaptive responses to the external environment. Regulatory dysfunction in translation including defects in ribosomes underpins various human diseases including metabolic disorders, neuronal degenerative diseases and cancer. We hope to gain knowledge of how translational dys-regulation is associated with human diseases, and to provide insights into possible new treatment strategies in medicine by a further comprehension of the fundamental principles governing translation.