Portrait of Leonie Quinn

Seminar with Associate Professor Leonie Quinn

A/Prof Leonie Quinn will present, To bind RNA or DNA? The multifaceted roles of dual DNA/RNA binding proteins in stem cell fate, development and disease. 12:00 – 1:00pm on Thursday 14th March, S9 Lecture Theatre, 16 Rainforest Walk, Clayton Campus.

Please join Centre Director, Prof James Whisstock for this event.

Associate Professor Leonie Quinn
Head, Cancer Models Group, ACRF Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra

Work from my group using Drosophila molecular genetics [1-2], and biochemical studies from collaborators in mammals (reviewed [3]), demonstrates proteins containing RNA binding domains interact with single stranded DNA to modulate DNA architecture and control RNA Polymerase II-dependent transcription. Our previous work revealed that these ssDNA/RNA binding proteins integrate extra-and intracellular signalling inputs to modulate transcriptional activity of Mycnetworks, thus controlling cell and tissue growth in epithelial tissues (1-6). More recently, we have demonstrated critical Myc-independent roles for the ssDNABP Psi/FUBP1 in both the stem cells and their micro environment, or niche, which are essential for preventing emergence of stem cell “tumours” in the fly brain. Recent genome-wide binding studies have identified neural stem cell and niche specific targets, providing insight into mechanism for Psi-dependent regulation secreted signals in the micro environment enabling non-autonomous control stem cell fate.

About the presenter
After completing her PhD studies in Adelaide (2000) and conducting postdoctoral research at the Peter MacCallumCancer Centre (2000-2007), A/Prof Quinn was awarded an NHMRC CDA and established her laboratory at the University of Melbourne in 2007. In 2017 Leonie was recruited to the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU, Canberra) where her group continues to conduct research using Drosophila genetic models to gain the new insights into mechanisms of cancer initiation and progression.

[1]L.Guo, O.Zaysteva, Z et al. L. M. Quinn, “Defining the essential function of FBP/KSRP proteins: Drosophila Psi interacts with the mediator complex to modulate MYC transcription and tissue growth.,” Nucleic acids research 2016.
[2]J. E. A. Lee, N. C. Mitchell, O.Zaytseva, et al., L. M. Quinn, “DefectiveHfp-dependent transcriptional repression ofdMYCis fundamental to tissueovergrowthinDrosophila XPB models,” NatCommun, 2015.
[3]L. M. Quinn, “FUBP/KH domain proteins in transcription: Back to the future.,” Transcription, 2017.