Hani Zaher, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program
Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 443-804-3794

  • 314-935-7662

  • 935-4432

  • 1137

  • Monsanto 405

  • hzaher@WUSTL.EDU

  • http://pages.wustl.edu/zaher

  • Translation, Ribosome, RNA, Fidelity, peptide-bond formation, pre-steady state kinetics, translational regulation

  • Mechanism of translational fidelity and its impact on cellular fitness and codon evolution

Research Abstract:

The translation of the genetic code into functional protein sequences is a feat accomplished in all domains of life by the ribosome. Protein synthesis is a complex multistep process that can be divided into three main phases: initiation, elongation and termination.

During each cycle of elongation, the two-subunit macromolecular machine decodes the mRNA transcripts by carefully selecting the appropriate aminoacyl-tRNA (aa-tRNA) that matches the mRNA codon in the decoding center from a large pool of competing aa-tRNAs.

The long term goal of the Zaher lab is to expand the understanding of the mechanisms that govern translational fidelity as well as learn about their impact on cellular fitness and codon evolution.

Selected Publications:

• Zaher, H. S. and Green, R. (2011). A primary role for release factor 3 in quality control during translation elongation in Escherichia coli. Cell, 147(2):396-408.

• Zaher, H. S., Shaw, J. J., Strobel, S. A. and Green, R. (2011). The 2`-OH group of the peptidyl-tRNA stabilizes an active conformation of the ribosomal PTC. EMBO J, 30(12):2445-53.

• Zaher, H. S. and Green, R. (2010). Kinetic basis for global loss of fidelity arising from mismatches in the P-site codon:anticodon helix. RNA, 16(10):1980-9.

• Zaher, H.S. and Green, R. (2010). Hyperaccurate and error-prone ribosomes exploit distinct mechanisms during tRNA selection”. Molecular Cell, 39(1):110-20.

• Zaher, H. S. and Green, R. (2009). Quality control on the ribosome following peptide bond formation. Nature, 457(7226): 161-166.

• Zaher, H. S. and Green, R. (2009). Fidelity at the molecular level: lessons from protein synthesis. Cell, 136(4): 746-762.

• Zaher, H. S. and Unrau, P. J. (2007). Selection of an improved RNA polymerase ribozyme with superior extension and fidelity. RNA, 13(7):1017-26.

• Zaher, H. S. and Unrau, P. J. (2006). A general RNA-capping ribozyme retains stereochemistry during cap exchange. JACS, 128(42):13894-900.

• Zaher, H. S., Watkins, R. A. and Unrau, P. J. (2006). Two distinct capping ribozymes have highly convergent catalytic properties. RNA, 12(11):1949-58.

• Zaher, H. S. and Unrau, P. J. (2005). Nucleic acid library construction using synthetic DNA constructs. Methods Mol Biol. 288: 359-378. (Book Chapter)

• Zaher, H. S. and Unrau, P. J. (2004). T7 RNA polymerase mediates fast promoter-independent extension of unstable nucleic complexes. Biochemistry 43(24): 7873-7880.

Last Updated: 10/3/2013 11:35:21 AM

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