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Diverse Roles of RNA-protein Interactions: From Viral Antagonism to Mammalian Development


Banerjee, Abhik Kumar (2021) Diverse Roles of RNA-protein Interactions: From Viral Antagonism to Mammalian Development. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/tfb9-n887.


RNA is a widely utilized and integrated component of core cellular function because of its abilities to recognize and hybridize to nucleic acid templates, spatially localize to different compartments within the cell, bind combinatorially to effector molecules, and in some cases directly catalyze chemical reactions. In this thesis, I describe three cases, illustrating the biomolecule’s unique importance in several different aspects of cellular homeostasis. Chapter 1 provides historical context for studying RNA-protein interactions within RNA biology and Virology. Chapter 2 details experiments in which we explored RNA as a central target of host cell takeover by SARS-CoV-2. In the process, we highlight the importance of RNA in many integral complexes within the cell, including components of the spliceosome, the eukaryotic ribosome, and signal recognition particle. Chapter 3 presents data from our consideration of RNA within the context of cis gene regulation. We specifically focus on a model RNA-binding protein, SMRT/HDAC1 Associated Repressor Protein (SHARP), and the paternally imprinted long non-coding RNA, Kcnq1ot1, as case studies. Chapter 4 describes our dissection of a transcriptional circuit involving SHARP and discusses implications of RNA-binding to developmentally sensitive circuits and processes. Finally, Chapter 5 poses new questions raised by these studies. Together these data emphasize the diverse and unique role RNA plays in cellular homeostasis and suggest additional roles in nuclear compartment stabilization and crosstalk.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:RNA-protein interactions, SARS-CoV-2, Kcnq1ot1, Spen, SHARP, Covalent Linkage Affinity Purification ; COVID-19
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology and Biological Engineering
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Guttman, Mitchell (advisor)
  • Rothenberg, Ellen V. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Sternberg, Paul W. (chair)
  • Baltimore, David L.
  • Elowitz, Michael B.
  • Guttman, Mitchell
  • Rothenberg, Ellen V.
Defense Date:14 December 2020
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:02032021-180657616
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 2. adapted for Chapter 3. adapted for Chapter 3.
Banerjee, Abhik Kumar0000-0002-9797-0104
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14073
Deposited By: Abhik Banerjee
Deposited On:12 Feb 2021 23:30
Last Modified:26 Oct 2021 20:38

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