Thomas C. Leeper

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Rnt1 endoribonuclease, the yeast homolog of RNAse III, plays an important role in the maturation of a diverse set of RNAs. The enzymatic activity requires a conserved catalytic domain, while RNA binding requires the double-stranded RNA-binding domain (dsRBD) at the C-terminus of the protein. While bacterial RNAse III enzymes cleave double-stranded RNA,(More)
Phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II controls the co-transcriptional assembly of RNA processing and transcription factors. Recruitment relies on conserved CTD-interacting domains (CIDs) that recognize different CTD phosphoisoforms during the transcription cycle, but the molecular basis for their specificity remains unclear. We(More)
We report that the cationic porphyrin TmPyP4, which is known mainly as a DNA G-quadruplex stabilizer, unfolds an unusually stable all purine RNA G-quadruplex (M3Q) that is located in the 5'-UTR of MT3-MMP mRNA. When the interaction between TmPyP4 and M3Q was monitored by UV spectroscopy a 22-nm bathochromic shift and 75% hypochromicity of the porphin major(More)
Precise 3'-end processing of mRNA is essential for correct gene expression, yet in yeast, 3'-processing signals consist of multiple ambiguous sequence elements. Two neighboring elements upstream of the cleavage site are particularly important for the accuracy (positioning element) and efficiency (efficiency element) of 3'-processing and are recognized by(More)
The search for new antiviral drugs that repress HIV viral replication by blocking transactivation of viral RNA transcription has long been advocated as an approach to novel antiviral therapy. However, research in this area has so far failed to yield attractive lead compounds because of the insufficient development of RNA-based medicinal chemistry. One(More)
We investigated the natural variation in silk composition and mechanical performance of the orb-weaving spider Argiope trifasciata at multiple spatial and temporal scales in order to assess how protein composition contributes to the remarkable material properties of spider dragline silk. Major ampullate silk in orb-weaving spiders consists predominantly of(More)
Mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important part in the pathology of several diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Targeting mitochondrial proteins shows promise in treating and attenuating the neurodegeneration seen in these diseases, especially considering their complex and pleiotropic origins. Recently, the mitochondrial(More)
The interaction of the HIV-1 transactivator protein Tat with its transactivation response (TAR) RNA is an essential step in viral replication and therefore an attractive target for developing antivirals with new mechanisms of action. Numerous compounds that bind to the 3-nt bulge responsible for binding Tat have been identified in the past, but none of(More)
The ribonucleoprotein enzyme telomerase ensures the stability and fidelity of linear chromosome ends by elongating the telomeric DNA that is lost during each round of DNA replication. All telomerases contain a catalytic protein component homologous to viral reverse transcriptases (TERT) and an RNA (TR) that provides the template sequence, acts as the(More)
The ribonucleoprotein enzyme telomerase maintains chromosome ends in most eukaryotes and is critical for a cell's genetic stability and its proliferative viability. All telomerases contain a catalytic protein component homologous to viral reverse transcriptases (TERT) and an RNA (TR) that provides the template sequence as well as a scaffold for(More)