Education
Ph.D., 2001, Washington University in St. Louis
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.
Recent Publications
  • 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, Ayala YM (2017) J Biol Chem. Feb 6 [Epub ahead of print].
  • TDP-43 regulates its mRNA levels through a negative feedback loop.
    Ayala YM, De Conti L, Avenda–o-V‡zquez SE, Dhir A, Romano M, D'Ambrogio A, Tollervey J, Ule J, Baralle M, Buratti E, Baralle FE. (2011) EMBO J. 30:277-88.