Dr Judith Sleeman

Senior Lecturer in Cell and Developmental Biology

tel. 01334 463524
fax. 01334 463600

Almost all mammalian genes contain introns, which are sequences represented in the DNA but not in the protein. These must be removed, or ‘spliced’, from the mRNA message before it can be translated. Accurate mRNA splicing requires a protein called Survival of Motor Neurons (SMN). Insufficient expression of SMN is responsible for the inherited neurodegenerative disease, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). It is not clear how the loss of SMN protein leads to the disease. All cells need to splice their RNA correctly, but SMA specifically affects motor neurons. I'm studying the maturation of splicing factors, with a particular emphasis on their dynamics within the nucleus and differences between neural and non-neural cell types that may be significant for SMA



Thompson, LW, Morrison, KD, Shirran, SL, Groen, EJN, Gillingwater, TH, Botting, CH & Sleeman, JE 2018, 'Neurochondrin interacts with the SMN protein suggesting a novel mechanism for Spinal Muscular Atrophy pathology' Journal of Cell Science, vol. 131, no. 8, jcs211482. DOI: 10.1242/jcs.211482, 10.1101/183640
Trinkle-Mulcahy, L & Sleeman, JE 2017, 'The Cajal body and the nucleolus: “in a relationship” or “it's complicated”?' RNA Biology, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 739-751. DOI: 10.1080/15476286.2016.1236169
Sleeman, JE & Trinkle-Mulcahy, L 2014, 'Nuclear bodies: new insights into assembly/dynamics and disease relevance' Current Opinion in Cell Biology, vol. 28, pp. 76-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceb.2014.03.004
Coleman, S, Prescott, AR & Sleeman, JE 2014, 'Transcriptionally correlated subcellular dynamics of MBNL1 during lens development and their implication for the molecular pathology of myotonic dystrophy type 1' Biochemical Journal, vol. 458, no. 2, pp. 267-280. DOI: 10.1042/BJ20130870
Prescott, AR, Bales, A, James, J, Trinkle-Mulcahy, L & Sleeman, JE 2014, 'Time-resolved quantitative proteomics implicates the core snRNP protein SmB together with SMN in neural trafficking.' Journal of Cell Science, vol. 127, no. 4, pp. 812-827. DOI: 10.1242/jcs.137703
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