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Dr. Philip Bevilacqua

Dr. Philip Bevilacqua

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

February 28, 2020

12 Noon in Meyerhoff Chemistry Building, Room 120

Host:  Dr. Mike Summers

“RNA structure-function relationships under in vivo and in vivo-like conditions:
Impacts on RNA catalysis, folding, and transcriptome-wide response to stress”

RNA structure is intimately connected to function. The structure of RNA can differ in vivo versus in vitro owing to temperature, crowding, pH, and Mg2+ concentration. My lab has developed ways to mimic in vivo conditions using weakly-chelated Mg2+ ions, polyamines, crowders, and metabolites.1,2  I will discuss how such in vivo-like conditions influence RNA chemical stability, thermal stability, and catalytic activity.1,3  In addition, our lab in collaboration with the Assmann lab at Penn State developed Structure-seq, a method that combines chemical probing of RNA structure with high-throughput sequencing, thus allowing characterization of RNA secondary structure genome-wide and in vivo.4 I will discuss applications of Structure-seq to organisms across all three domains of life, with a focus on response to thermal stress.5 Efforts to develop a suite of chemical probes that can be incorporated into Structure-seq that query the base-pairing status of all four nucleotides in vivo will be presented as well.6,7 This work involves all members of my lab and is in close collaboration with the Assmann, Babitzke, and Ferry labs at Penn State