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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Understanding the Function of Fragile X Protein in Drosophila

Haruhiko Siomi, PhD, at Tokushima University, FRAXA research grant

With a $105,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation from 2000-2003, Drs. Haruhiko Siomi and Mikko Siomi at Tokushima University researched approaches to characterize the Drosophila homolog of FMR1 and its associated molecules, and to identify molecular pathways that are involved in the cellular processes which are affected by the loss-of-function of Drosophila FMR1.

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