Cancer Biology & Genetics Program

The Christine Mayr Lab

Research

Christine Mayr
Christine Mayr, MD, PhD


Professor

Control of protein activity through RNA-induced protein conformation changes

My laboratory studies mRNA functions that go beyond the transmission of the genetic code. We discovered that 3’ untranslated regions regulate protein complex assembly and control protein functions. Mechanistically, we found that 3′UTRs control translation in mRNA-rich, constitutively expressed cytoplasmic condensate networks, including TIS granules and the FXR1 network. These compartments enable widespread binding of mRNAs to transcription factors and enzymes through a new and widespread RNA-binding domain located in their intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). We found that RNA binding changes the conformational states of the IDRs to control protein complex assembly and protein activity.

Going forward, we will study the molecular mechanism and functional scope of RNA-induced activation of proteins and will develop tools to monitor RNA-induced protein conformation changes and to control protein activity through exogenous RNA. To do so, we take a multidisciplinary approach and use molecular biology and biophysics, biochemistry and chemical biology, high-resolution imaging, and computational methods to study how RNA regulates protein activity. We envision that protein activity regulation through RNA-induced conformational changes is similar in scale and scope to post-translational modifications.

If you are interested in this topic, please contact me as we have open positions for postdocs and graduate students from diverse backgrounds.

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People

Christine Mayr

Christine Mayr, MD, PhD



Professor

  • Molecular and cell biologist Christine Mayr studies how 3′UTRs regulate protein functions and how mRNAs contribute to cytoplasmic organization.
  • MD, Free University Berlin
  • PhD, Humboldt University Berlin
[email protected]
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Members

Xiuzhen Chen
Xiuzhen Chen

Postdoctoral Fellow

Mervin Fansler
Mervin Fansler

PhD student, Tri-I PhD Program in Computational Biology & Medicine

Ellen Horste
Ellen Horste

Graduate Student

Buki Kwon
Buki Kwon

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sibylle Mitschka
Sibylle Mitschka

Postdoctoral Fellow

Gang Zhen
Gang Zhen

Postdoctoral Fellow

Yang (Vicky) Luo

Postdoctoral Fellow

Casey Robinson
Casey Robinson

Administrative Assistant

Lab Alumni
Shih-Han (Peggy) Lee
Shih-Han (Peggy) Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Steve Lianoglou

Graduate Student

Irtisha Singh
Irtisha Singh

Graduate Student, Tri-I CBM Program

Eric Kallin
Eric Kallin

Postdoctoral Fellow

Binyamin Berkovits
Binyamin Berkovits

Postdoctoral Fellow

Marie Clemot
Marie Clemot

Master Student

Omar Hamdani, MPH
Omar Hamdani

Research Technician

Federica Lari
Federica Lari

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jessica Johnson
Jessica Johnson

Research Technician

Weirui Ma
Weirui Ma

Postdoctoral Fellow

Vidur Garg
Vidur Garg

Research Technician

Neil Patel, Medical School
Neil Patel

Research technician

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jihye (Sophia)  Lee
Jihye (Sophia) Lee

Research Technician

Pia Worrell
Pia Worrell

Administrative Assistant

Sarah Tisdale
Sarah Tisdale

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lab Affiliations

Achievements

  • Luise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award for Basic Research (2019)
  • NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2016)
  • Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research (2015)
  • Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (2012)
  • Selected as ‘Cell Scientist to watch’ by Journal of Cell Science (2015)
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  • Science Signaling Breakthrough of the year (2013)

Open Positions

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Disclosures

Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

Christine Mayr discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

No disclosures meeting criteria for time period


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This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2021 through disclosure submission in spring 2022). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.

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