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Yuna Ayala, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Studies on RNA binding protein function in eukaryotic mRNA processing and neurodegenerative diseases.

Research Interests

The regulation of pre-mRNA processing, critical in the control of gene function and often linked to human disease, is mediated through the interaction between mRNA and protein partners. The TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) is an essential RNA binding protein whose dysfunction and aggregation are tightly associated with neurodegenerative disorders, i.e., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, and frontotemporal dementia (FTLD). We investigate the cellular function and molecular structure of RNA binding proteins, such as TDP-43, to understand basic mechanisms of RNA processing and pathogenesis.


Heat Shock-induced Phosphorylation of TAR DNA-binding Protein 43 (TDP-43) by MAPK/ERK Kinase Regulates TDP-43 Function
Li W, Reeb AN, Lin B, Subramanian P, Fey EE, Knoverek CR, French RL, Bigio EH and Ayala YM
Pubmed | J. Biol. Chem.

TDP-43 regulates its mRNA levels through a negative feedback loop
Ayala YM, De Conti L, Avendaño-Vázquez SE, Dhir A, Romano M, D’Ambrogio A, Tollervey J, Ule J, Baralle M, Buratti E and Baralle FE
Pubmed | EMBO J.

Functional mapping of the interaction between TDP-43 and hnRNP A2 in vivo
D’Ambrogio A, Buratti E, Stuani C, Guarnaccia C, Romano M, Ayala YM and Baralle FE
Pubmed | Nucleic Acids Res.

Structural determinants of the cellular localization and shuttling of TDP-43
Ayala YM, Zago P, D’Ambrogio A, Xu YF, Petrucelli L, Buratti E and Baralle FE
Pubmed | J. Cell. Sci.

Improving human interferon-beta production in mammalian cell lines by insertion of an intronic sequence within its naturally uninterrupted gene
Zago P, Baralle M, Ayala YM, Skoko N, Zacchigna S, Buratti E and Tisminetzky S
Pubmed | Biotechnol. Appl. Biochem.