The Karbstein Lab

The Karbstein Lab

40S ribosome

Quality Control and Regulation of Ribosome Assembly

Ribosomes are large macromolecular machines that catalyze protein synthesis in all cells. Ribosome assembly constitutes perhaps the major metabolic activity of a growing cell, to ensure its protein synthesis capacity. Because ribosome assembly is so energy costly and only desired when cells are growing, ribosome assembly is highly regulated in response to available nutrients and external stimuli. Conversely, rapidly growing cells, such as cancer cells, have developed mechanisms to upregulate ribosome assembly.

In addition to producing enough ribosomes, cells must also ensure that the ribosomes they make are fully functional. Failure to do so is the cause of several human diseases including Diamond Blackfan Anemia, 5q- syndrome, congenital asplenia and many others. Surprisingly, these diseases are characterized not only by the growth defects expected from a lack of functional ribosomes, but also by a highly increased risk of cancer.

In our lab we study the mechanisms that cells use to regulate and quality control the assembly of ribosomes, with the goal of understanding the molecular basis for cancer when ribosomes are defective and of developing novel drug targets for cancer therapy.

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Postdoc Position Available

 Congratulations: Haina's paper, “Quality control of 40S ribosome head assembly ensures scanning competence” has been accepted to the Journal of Cell Biology!

 Naomi Bronkema joins the lab as a rotating graduate student! Welcome Naomi!

 Haina and Yoon-Mo present their work at the annual RNA society meeting. View their talks here!

Congratulations: Melissa’s paper is accepted!

Congratulations: Haina wins Best Poster at the Scripps Research Fest!

Congratulations: Melissa wins second Place for a talk at the Scripps Research Fest!

Postdoctoral Associate Yoon-Mo Yang joins the lab! Welcome Yoon-Mo!



Karbstein Lab
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