The Bolger Laboratory

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

University of Georgia


D-E-A-D or Alive: RNA Biology and Cellular Stress

The Bolger lab studies the roles and regulation of DEAD-box RNA helicases in gene expression during steady-state and stress conditions and how they may become misregulated during aging and cancer. This work primarily focuses on how the critical process of protein synthesis is altered during different conditions, particularly during cellular stresses such as the lack of nutrients and/or the presence of toxins. Alterations in these pathways are frequently observed in cancer, aging, and other pathologies, and the research in the Bolger lab is targeted to better understand and suggest potential treatments for these diseases.


Mechanisms of Translation Regulation 

Stress is a part of life, even on the cellular level. To survive stress conditions, cells have to rapidly shift their proteome to meet slow growth and adapt to the stress. A major avenue of research in the Bolger lab is to understand how translation is regulated during stress, primarily through the action of RNA helicases.  

Interactions Between Translation and Other Pathways during Cell Stress

In order to respond to different conditions, cells have to coordinate a number of different pathways and processes. Through large-scale screens, we have identified a number of pathways that interact with translation and RNA helicases during cellular stress, and we are exploring the impact of these connections.

DDX3X Function in Medulloblastoma

A number of RNA helicases have been linked to disease, especially cancer. Notably, DDX3X is one of the most frequently mutated genes in the brain cancer medulloblastoma. We are currently examining how these mutations affect DDX3X function and promote medulloblastoma progression.




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