Dorothy Lerit, Emory University

The conserved RNA-binding protein CPEB/Orb2 safeguards against microcephaly
Apr 24, 2024, 12:00 pm1:00 pm
Free and open to the university community and the public.


Dorothy Lerit
Assistant Professor
Emory University


Event Description

Microcephaly is a congenital birth defect manifesting in small head and brain size and associated with intellectual disabilities and developmental delay. While the leading cause of heritable microcephaly is centrosome deregulation, numerous other genes, including RNA-binding proteins, are also implicated. We identified cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE) motifs, recognized by CPE-binding (CPEB) proteins, conserved within a subset of microcephaly-associated centrosome genes. While humans encode four CPEB family proteins (CPEB 1–4), the comparably simpler model Drosophila encodes two. Among these, Orb2 is the CPEB 2–4 ortholog highly expressed in the brain and associated with learning and memory. We uncovered a requirement for Orb2 to regulate brain size, providing insight into the neurodevelopmental basis of microcephaly.

Liz Gavis, Department of Molecular Biology
Event Category
Butler Seminar Series