Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner, ca. 1700, "Mary Undoer of Knots"
The Smaldino laboratory is interested in G-quadruplex nucleic acid structures and the cellular enzymes that unwind them. G-quadruplexes are stable, ‘knot-like’ structures that form within guanine (G)-rich regions of DNA or RNA. These structures provide an essential layer of transcriptional and translational regulation in a healthy cells. However, when in excess or aberrantly unwound, G-quadruplexes can become pathological. We focus our efforts on studying the major human G-quadruplex helicase DHX36 (aliases: G4R1 and RHAU) which is an "undoer of G-quadruplex knots".
We apply our expertise in G-quadruplex and DHX36 biology to study G-quadruplex-linked diseases including, C9ORF72-linked ALS and frontal temporal dementia, and cancer. We leverage a combinatorial approach of biochemical assays, human cell culture, and mouse models to study these topics. Our long term goal is to develop and implement strategies to target DHX36 for the treatment of disease.
Thank you for your interest in our research. Reach out to us for any questions or comments regarding our work and or to inquire about vacancies in the lab. We would love to hear from you.
Ball State University
Foundational Sciences Building (FS 330)
622 N Martin St.
Muncie, IN 47306, USA