Defining Functional Domains of FMRP and Uncovering its Partners via Large Scale Mutagenesis in Drosophila

Yong Zhang, PhD, at Chinese Academy of Sciences, FRAXA research grant

With $80,000 in funding from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2005 and in 2006, Dr. Yong Zhang and his team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a way to find genes that suppress the Fragile X gene. FRAXA grants $40,000 (2006) and $40,000 (2005) by Xinda Lin show that FMRP is a widely expressed RNA-binding protein involved in RNA transport and translation. Intensive studies in the last decade have demonstrated that FMRP contains four RNA binding domains, but their actual functions are mostly untested. Meanwhile, a dozen or so protein partners and hundreds of mRNA targets interacting with FMRP have been identified, but again their functions are poorly understood.

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