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Charles N. Cole, PhD

Active Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Massachussetts Institute of Technology, PHD 1972Oberlin College, BS 1968

Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs

Contact Information:

Dartmouth Medical School
HB 7200
Hanover NH 03755

Professional Interests:

The principal focus of this laboratory is the transport of messenger RNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. There are large gaps in our knowledge about this fundamental step in the expression of eukaryotic genes. Using an in situ hybridization screen of a bank of temperature-sensitive mutants, several genes encoding components of the nuclear pore complex have been discovered, as well as one which encodes a novel RNA helicase which binds to nucleoporins important for mRNA export. We are testing the model that the helicase performs a central role in mRNA export, using energy from ATP hydrolysis to alter the structure of mRNA export complex as it pulls it through the nuclear pore. Heat shock and other stresses block RNA export; however, heat shock mRNAs are exported under conditions when other mRNAs are retained in the nucleus. Experiments are in progress to understand the mechanism responsible for this differential regulation of mRNA export.

Selected Publications:


  • Hodge, C.A., Colot, H.V., Stafford, P., and Cole, C.N. (1999) Rat8p/Dbp5p is a shuttling transport factor that interacts with Rat7p/Nup159p and Gle1p and suppresses the mRNA export defect of xpo1-1 cells. EMBO J. 19:5778-5788.

  • Cole, C.N. (2000) mRNA export: the long and winding road. Nature Cell Biol. 2: E55-58.

  • Saavedra, C.A., Hammell, C.M, Heath, C. V., and Cole, C.N.. (1997) Yeast heat shock mRNAs are exported through a distinct pathway defined by Rip1p. Genes and Devel. 11:2845-56.