Professor Stephanie Ceman received a B.S., from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Bacteriology, Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Genetics
She was a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago in Immunology and a Postdoctoral fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, where she began her work on Fragile X syndrome. She is currently a professor in the department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign with affiliations with the Neuroscience Program, Beckman Institute and the Institute for Genomic Biology. Her research is focused on understanding how protein translation regulation in the brain participates in learning and memory.
Research Interest Bursts of new protein synthesis are required for learning and memory yet it is unknown how this process is regulated. Relevant mRNAs need to be localized in dendrites and translated for a brief period of time in response to a signal. The importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in neuronal function suggests a key role for this pathway in translation arrest following local protein synthesis. Our hypothesis is that local protein production in neurons is regulated by a complex of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), Moloney leukemia virus 10 (MOV10) and Argonaute 2 (AGO2). FMRP is an RNA binding protein that binds brain mRNAs--primarily in the coding sequence—but also in the 3’UTR where it is involved in miRNA-mediated regulation. Its loss of expression leads to Fragile X Syndrome. MOV10 is an RNA helicase that associates with AGO2 and binds a significant portion of the mRNAs bound by FMRP as shown by our group (Kenny et al. 2014; Skariah 2017). Our hypothesis is that FMRP, MOV10 and AGO2 act together to regulate neuronal development and function by regulating translation. We are also very interested in MOV10's role in neuronal development and brain function. We use molecular and cell biology approaches, including advanced sequencing technologies on engineered mouse lines.
Neurobiology, Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions, Regulation of Gene Expression
Disease Research Interests
Neurological and Behavioral Disorders
Molecular basis of disease, post-translational modifications, regulation of RNA expression, RNA-protein interactions
The fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP is required for normal cognition: when it is absent, the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, fragile X syndrome (FXS) results. Thus, FMRP is a molecular entry point for understanding normal brain function. FMRP is an RNA binding protein that binds ~4% of brain mRNAs and regulates their expression—either enhancing or suppressing translation by an unknown mechanism. Bursts of protein translation are required for normal development and neuronal function but it is unknown how this process is regulated. We identified the RNA helicase MOV10 as a novel interactor of FMRP. MOV10 is elevated in developing brain and is required for viability as well as normal dendritic arborization and mouse behavior. Our goal is to understand how these RNA binding proteins function to facilitate learning and memory.
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Bacteriology)
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Genetics)
Postdoctoral fellow, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral fellow, Emory University
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology
Professor, Biomedical and Translational Sciences
Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Affiliate, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Nawaz, A., Shilikbay, T., Skariah, G., & Ceman, S. (2022). Unwinding the roles of RNA helicase MOV10. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA, 13(2), [e1682]. https://doi.org/10.1002/wrna.1682
Lannom, M. C., Nielsen, J., Nawaz, A., Shilikbay, T., & Ceman, S. (2021). FMRP and MOV10 regulate Dicer1 expression and dendrite development. PloS one, 16(11 November), [e0260005]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260005
Kenny, P. J., Kim, M., Skariah, G., Nielsen, J., Lannom, M. C., & Ceman, S. (2020). The FMRP-MOV10 complex: A translational regulatory switch modulated by G-Quadruplexes. Nucleic acids research, 48(2), 862-878. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz1092
DeThorne, L. S., & Ceman, S. (2018). Genetic testing and autism: Tutorial for communication sciences and disorders. Journal of Communication Disorders, 74, 61-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2018.05.003
Lannom, M. C., & Ceman, S. (2018). FMRP and microRNAs in neuronal protein synthesis. In The Oxford Handbook of Neuronal Protein Synthesis (pp. 217-238). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190686307.013.15