The Staples Lecture presents
Dr. David Bartel
The Whitehead Institute, MIT, HHMI (elected to the National Academy in 2011)
We study RNA. A major focus is on microRNAs (miRNAs), which are ~22-nt RNAs that specify gene repression by pairing to messenger RNAs (mRNAs) of protein-coding genes. We also investigate other types of short RNAs and the proteins that either make short RNAs or use them to silence gene expression. Another focus is on mRNAs, with particular interest in their untranslated regions and tails, and how these regions recruit and mediate regulatory phenomena. Our experimental approaches include 1) evolutionary and computational analyses, e.g., showing that most human genes are regulated by miRNAs, 2) high-throughput molecular measurements, e.g., showing that mammalian miRNAs predominantly act to destabilize their mRNA targets, 3) detailed biochemical analyses, e.g., revealing molecular mechanisms of RNA-silencing components, and 4) phenotypic analyses, e.g., revealing biological functions of particular miRNA:target interactions, including interactions important for preventing human cancers.
Selected Recent Publications:
Kleaveland B, Shi CY, Stefano J, Bartel DP. 2018 A Network of Noncoding Regulatory RNAs Acts in the Mammalian Brain. Cell 174(2):350-362.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.022. Epub 2018 Jun 7. PMID: 29887379
Bartel DP, 2018 Metazoan MicroRNAs. Cell 173(1):20-51. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.006. Review. PMID: 29570994
Wu X, Bartel DP, 2017 Widespread Influence of 3′-End Structures on Mammalian mRNA Processing and Stability. Cell. May 18;169(5):905-917.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.04.036
Guo, J.U. and D.P. Bartel. 2016. RNA G-quadruplexes are globally unfolded in eukaryotic cells and depleted in bacteria. Science 353:aaf5371.
Agarwal, V., G.W. Bell, J-W. Nam and D.P. Bartel. 2015. Predicting effective microRNA target sites in mammalian mRNAs. eLife 4:e05005.