Eastern Kentucky University 2015
I research ribosome specialization in skeletal muscle and it's implication in disease states.
The ribosome has long been seen as serving in a housekeeping capacity. However, there is evidence to suggest that the type of ribosomal proteins that associate with it may allow the ribosome to serve in a regulatory capacity - thereby allowing for fine tuning of gene expression at the translational level. When ribosomal proteins are misregulated this can lead to pathologies. For example, RPL38 preferentially associates with the 5'UTR of HOX genes allowing for correct body patterning, and loss of RPL38 leads to extreme morphological issues.
Skeletal muscle expresses a unique ribosomal protein and my interest is in determining if ribosomal protein misregulation in skeletal muscle is responsible for specific muscle pathologies.