Ginny Morriss, Ph.D.
Started in the lab: September 2012
Funding: IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellowship
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multisystemic disease characterized by progressive muscle degeneration resulting in weakening and wasting of skeletal muscles, myotonia, and cardiac conduction defects. The disease is caused by a (CTG)n microsatellite repeat expansion in the 3'-UTR of the DMPK gene leading to build up of toxic expanded RNA into nuclear foci. The toxic RNA interferes with RNA-binding proteins, such as CUGBP and Elav-like family (CELF1) and the muscleblind-like (MBNL) proteins, leading to disruption of normal RNA processing within the cells. I am interested in studying the mechanisms that specifically lead to the muscle wasting pathology of DM1. I am looking at combinatorial effects of CELF1 over-expression and MBNL1 loss-of-function.
Morriss, G.R., Bryantsev, A.L., Chechenova, M., LaBeau, E.M., Lovato, T.L., Ryan, K.M., and Cripps, R.M. (2011). Analysis of skeletal muscle development in Drosophila. In J.X. DiMario (Ed.), Myogenesis: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 798, pp127-152. Philadelphia: Springer Science and Business Media.