Colleen A. McHugh

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Many long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) affect gene expression, but the mechanisms by which they act are still largely unknown. One of the best-studied lncRNAs is Xist, which is required for transcriptional silencing of one X chromosome during development in female mammals. Despite extensive efforts to define the mechanism of Xist-mediated transcriptional(More)
Malaria is a devastating disease. For transmission to occur, Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, must complete a complex developmental cycle in its mosquito vector. Thus, the mosquito is a potential target for disease control. Plasmodium ookinetes, which develop within the mosquito midgut, must first cross the midgut's peritrophic matrix (PM), a(More)
The importance of RNA-protein interactions in controlling mRNA regulation and non-coding RNA function is increasingly appreciated. A variety of methods exist to comprehensively define RNA-protein interactions. We describe these methods and the considerations required for designing and interpreting these experiments.
Ricin is a potent toxin presenting a threat as a biological weapon. The holotoxin consists of two disulfide-linked polypeptides: an enzymatically active A chain (RTA) and a galactose/N-acetylgalactosamine-binding B chain. Efforts to develop an inactivated version of the A chain as a vaccine have been hampered by limitations of stability and solubility.(More)
Bactofilins are fibre-forming bacterial cytoskeletal proteins. Here, we report the structural and biochemical characterization of MXAN_7475 (BacM), one of the four bactofilins of Myxococcus xanthus. Absence of BacM leads to a characteristic 'crooked' cell morphology and an increased sensitivity to antibiotics targeting cell wall biosynthesis. The absence of(More)
Cell differentiation is widespread during the development of multicellular organisms, but rarely observed in prokaryotes. One example of prokaryotic differentiation is the gram-negative bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. In response to starvation, this gliding bacterium initiates a complex developmental programme that results in the formation of spore-filled(More)
Living cells compartmentalize materials and enzymatic reactions to increase metabolic efficiency. While eukaryotes use membrane-bound organelles, bacteria and archaea rely primarily on protein-bound nanocompartments. Encapsulins constitute a class of nanocompartments widespread in bacteria and archaea whose functions have hitherto been unclear. Here, we(More)
Ricin is a potent toxin and known bioterrorism threat with no available antidote. The ricin A-chain (RTA) acts enzymatically to cleave a specific adenine base from ribosomal RNA, thereby blocking translation. To understand better the relationship between ligand binding and RTA active site conformational change, we used a fragment-based approach to find a(More)
Many long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) affect gene expression1, but the mechanisms by which they act are still largely unknown2. One of the best-studied lncRNAs is Xist, which is required for transcriptional silencing of one X-chromosome during development in female mammals3,4. Despite extensive efforts to define the mechanism of Xist-mediated transcriptional(More)
As you will see, all referees find your study well performed. However, they propose some amendments and additional experiments to better support your data and claims, all of which are clearly outlined in the reports. Referee #1 furthermore indicates that the study would be better suited in a more specialized journal. This is particularly expressed in the(More)
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