Meeting Theme: RNA


At the 2011 annual meeting, the RNA thematic sessions will look at regulating bacterial gene expression, RNA editing and modification, RNA transport and localization and regulation by small RNAs. The meeting will be held April 9-13, 2011, in Washington, D.C. (Titled "RNA: The Continuing Frontier" in print version.)


Meetings,-RNA,-Henkin Meetings,-RNA,-Maxwell
Tina M. Henkin Stuart Maxwell

Research in RNA biology and biochemistry continues at a rapid pace. New tools, including rapid genome sequencing coupled with deep sequencing of all transcripts, have led to the identification of new RNA species and unexpected RNA populations that define novel RNA functions.

The importance of noncoding RNAs for regulating gene expression in both eukaryotic and bacterial organisms is readily apparent. Equally important has been the identification of RNA-binding proteins that establish myriad ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes important for RNA maturation and RNA function. We still are scratching the surface of RNA biology and biochemistry and therefore should anticipate future surprises and novel functions. It was a challenging task to decide on just four topics for presentation and discussion for the RNA theme of this meeting. With that in mind, we have selected areas that are progressing rapidly and yielding exciting new results.

Regulating Bacterial Gene Expression

Click here for more 2011 annual meeting thematic overviews.

For information on  annual meeting registration, housing and abstract submission, click here.

The first session, titled “RNA-based Gene Regulation in Bacteria,” will examine the regulation of bacterial gene expression by small noncoding RNAs and RNA motifs. Susan Gottesman (National Institutes of Health) will discuss how small RNAs and associated proteins regulate different networks in E. coli. Kenneth Keiler (Pennsylvania State University) will explore how the bacterial tmRNA affects the cell cycle and developmental process in Caulobacter crescentus. And, finally, Tina M. Henkin (Ohio State University) will reveal how specific RNA motifs, termed “riboswitches,” found in specific mRNAs directly bind specific ligands to regulate the cognate metabolic pathways.

Editing and Modification


Session: RNA-based Gene Regulation in Bacteria
Linking Regulatory Networks via sRNAs, Susan Gottesman, National Institutes of Health

Regulation of Caulobacter Development by Trans-translation, Kenneth Keiler, Pennsylvania State University

Regulation of Gene Expression by Riboswitch RNAs, Tina M. Henkin, Ohio State University

Session: RNA Editing and Nucleotide Modification
tRNA Quality Control Mechanisms Mediated by Modification, Eric M. Phizicky, University of Rochester Medical Center

A-to-I Editing of miRNAs Controls Viral Latency, Kazuko Nishikura, Wistar Institute

Structure and Evolution of the Box C/D RNPs, Stuart Maxwell, North Carolina State University

Session: RNA/RNP Transport
and Localization
Nuclear Export and Maturation of Ribosomes, Arlen W. Johnson, University of Texas at Austin

tRNA Subcellular Dynamics, Anita T. Hopper, Ohio State University

Watching Single mRNAs in Living Cells, Robert H. Singer, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Session: Small RNA Regulation
of Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Micro RNAs in Disease and Development, Scott Hammond, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Pinning Down MicroRNA Targets in Animals, Amy Pasquinelli, University of California, San Diego

• Large Intergenic Noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs): From Chromatin to Stem Cells and Cancer, John L. Rinn, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School

The speakers in the “RNA Editing and Nucleotide Modification” session will explore how post-transcriptional nucleotide modification and editing mechanisms alter nucleotide identity to affect both RNA structure and function. Eric M. Phizicky (University of Rochester Medical Center) will discuss how modified nucleotides can serve as quality control points in yeast tRNA maturation. Kazuko Nishikura (Wistar Institute) will describe how A-to-I editing of endogenous miRNAs regulates viral infection of mammalian cells. And Stuart Maxwell (North Carolina State University) will discuss how evolving box C/D RNP core protein binding capabilities have facilitated evolving RNP function.

Transport and Localization

The next session, titled “RNA/RNP Transport and Localization,” will explore nuclear-cytoplasmic transport of RNAs/RNPs as well as RNA localization, both of which are critical for RNA maturation and regulation of RNA function. Arlen W. Johnson (University of Texas at Austin) will discuss how genetic and biochemical analyses have defined specific transport proteins critical for the nuclear-cytoplasmic transport of the yeast ribosome subunits. Anita T. Hopper (Ohio State University) will describe how yeast genetics coupled with biochemical and cell biology approaches are dissecting the process of tRNA transport to insure RNA quality control as well as regulate function. And Robert H. Singer (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) will report on in situ hybridization and high-resolution digital imaging approaches that allow direct visualization of RNA transport and localization of specific RNAs within individual cells.

Regulation by Small RNAs

In the final session, titled “Small RNA Regulation of Eukaryotic Gene Expression,” we will explore how small RNAs regulate complex processes of cell differentiation and gene regulation in eukaryotes. Scott Hammond (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) will talk about his miRNA work as it relates to oncogenes and human disease. Amy Pasquinelli (University of California, San Diego) will discuss how she has coupled C. elegans genetics with molecular and biochemical techniques to define miRNA-targeted mRNAs that control cellular differentiation pathways. And John L. Rinn (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School) will look at large intergenic non-coding RNAs.

Finally, three additional short talks will be selected from submitted abstracts for each session to allow presentation of recent exciting results.

Tina M. Henkin ( is the Robert W. and Estelle S. Bingham professor of biological sciences and chairwoman of the microbiology department at Ohio State University. Stuart Maxwell ( is a professor of biochemistry at North Carolina State University.