Heatmap showing unsupervised clustering of a Pearson correlation matrix (120 brain, placenta, and visceral yolk sac samples) from expression data (TPM), confirming the expected developmental relationship.

In vivo Firre and Dxz4 deletion elucidates roles for autosomal gene regulation.

Dec. 3, 2019

Recent evidence has determined that the conserved X chromosome mega-structures controlled by the Firre and Dxz4 loci are not required for X chromosome inactivation (XCI) in cell lines. Here, we examined the in vivo contribution of these loci by generating mice carrying a single or double deletion of Firre and...

Schematized E11.5 tissues used for RNA-seq.

The Firre locus produces a trans-acting RNA molecule that functions in hematopoiesis

Nov. 22, 2019

RNA has been classically known to play central roles in biology, including maintaining telomeres 1 , protein synthesis 2 , and in sex chromosome compensation in certain species 3 , 4 . At the center of these important biological systems are noncoding RNAs. While thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs)...

TERT exon and intron single-molecule RNA FISH (smFISH) probe design and specificity.

Single-cell imaging reveals unexpected heterogeneity of telomerase reverse transcriptase expression across human cancer cell lines

Oct. 22, 2019

Telomerase is pathologically reactivated in most human cancers, where it maintains chromosomal telomeres and allows immortalization. Because telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is usually the limiting component for telomerase activation, numerous studies have measured TERT mRNA levels in populations of cells or in tissues. In comparison, little is known about TERT...

Baseline lncRNA expression predicts drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines

Linking long noncoding RNA to drug resistance

Oct. 10, 2019

As we move into the era of personalized medicine, it may not be too far off that a visit to our doctor includes a number of genome-scale “seq” experiments to diagnose disease and estimate our likelihood of response to an array of possible treatments. One such experiment measures the cell’s...


The unexpected complexities of TERT, a key cancer driver

Sept. 11, 2019

Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), an enzyme associated with nearly all malignant human cancers, is even more diverse and unconventional than previously realized, new University of Colorado Boulder research finds. Telomeres, the protective ends of chromosomes, help to maintain genomic stability. In most normal adult human cells, the telomeres eventually shorten...

Tom Cech

Nobel Laureate, Tom Cech, Ph.D., suggests new way to target third most common oncogene, TERT

Sept. 10, 2019

Healthy cells have a built-in self-destruct mechanism: Strands of DNA called "telomeres" act as protective caps on the ends of your chromosomes. Each time a cell replicates, telomeres get a little shorter. Think of it like filing your nails with an Emory board - after enough filing, you hit your...

John Rinn

RNA Biology Pioneer John Rinn Joins BioFrontiers Institute

April 11, 2017

When John Rinn was an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, his focus was on skateboarding and snowboarding. However, a Chemistry 101 course sparked an interest in science where Rinn noticed that powerful chemical reactions could be broken down into simple steps just like a skateboard or snowboard trick. Rinn...