Associate Professor

Surgery, MMI, Child Health


(573) 882-6512

Fields of Interest

  • Immunology


  • MA and MD, 1984, University of Minnesota

Postdoctoral Training

  • UCLA, NIH and Duke University Medical School

Research Statement

In our lab we work on understanding the mechanisms of posttranscriptional gene regulation. Whereas transcriptional gene regulation is well understood, in contrast posttranscriptional gene expression remains a “black box”. The problem is that there are about 35,000 genes in the human genome but far greater numbers of proteins inside cells. Most of this diversity in the proteome is generated at the posttranscriptional level. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) modulate the export, stability and translation of their mRNA targets.

There are only several dozen RBPs known, but it is currently hypothesized that there may be up to 3,000 in mammalian cells. The cis-elements to which RBPs bind have been found to exist in 8% of human genes. Many of these genes are in very exciting and critical areas, including immune responses, signal transduction, cell growth and differentiation, hematopoiesis, transcriptional and translation control, nutrient transport, apoptosis and metabolism. We have developed, novel, cutting edge approaches which enable us to en masse identify in vivo targets of different RBPs using microarray technologies. Currently, in our lab we are investigating:

  • allergen driven models of asthma,
  • breast cancer oncogenesis,
  • and searching for new RBPs.

We welcome bright, inquisitive students who desire to become involved in cutting edge research, affecting a variety of biological processes.


  1. Techasintana P, Davis JW, Gubin, MM, Magee JD, Atasoy U. Transcriptomic-Wide Discovery of Direct and Indirect HuR RNA Targets in Activated CD4+ T Cells. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 10;10(7):e0129321. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129321. eCollection 2015.
  2. Miller DL, Davis JW, Taylor KH, Johnson J, Shi Z, Williams R, Atasoy U, Lewis JS Jr, Stack MS. Identification of a human papillomavirus-associated oncogenic miRNA panel in human oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma validated by bioinformatics analysis of the Cancer Genome Atlas. Am J Pathol. 2015 Mar;185(3):679-92. Epub 2015 Jan 5. PMID: 25572154
  3. Gubin MM, Techasintana P, Magee JD, Dahm GM, Calaluce R, Martindale JL, Whitney MS, Franklin CL, Besch-Williford C, Hollingsworth JW, Abdelmohsen K, Gorospe M, Atasoy U. Conditional knockout of the RNA-binding protein HuR in CD4⁺ T cells reveals a gene dosage effect on cytokine production. Mol Med. 2014 Mar 20;20:93-108. PMID: 24477678
  4. Chen J, Cascio J, Magee JD, Techasintana P., Gubin MM, Dahm GM, Calaluce, R, Atasoy, U. Posttranscriptional gene regulation of IL-17 by the RNA-binding protein HuR is required for initiation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. JImmun 2013, 191: 5441-5450
  5. Dahm GM, Gubin MM, Magee JD, Calaluce R, Atasoy U. Method for the isolation and identification of mRNAs, microRNAs and protein components of ribonucleoprotein complexes from cell extracts using RIP-Chip. J Vis Exp. 2012 Sep 29;(67). pii: 3851. doi: 10.3791/3851.
  6. Calaluce R, Davis JW, Bachman SL, Gubin MM, Brown JA, Magee JD, Loy TS, Ramshaw BJ, Atasoy U. Incisional hernia recurrence through genomic profiling: a pilot study. Hernia. 2012 May 31. [Epub ahead of print]
  7. Stellato, C, Gubin, MM, Magee, JD, Fang, X, Fan, J, Tartar, DM, Chen, J, Dahm, GM, Calaluce, R, Mori, F., Jackson, GA, Casolaro, V, Franklin, C, Atasoy, U. 2011. Coordinate Regulation of GATA-3 and Th2 Cytokine Gene Expression by the RNA-Binding Protein HuR. J Immunol. 187: 441-449. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1001881.
  8. Calaluce, R. Gubin, MM, Davis, JW, Magee, JD, Chen, J, Kuwano, Y, Gorospe, M, Atasoy, U. 2010. The RNA binding protein HuR differentially regulates unique subsets of mRNAs in estrogen receptor negative and estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. BMC 10:126.
  9. Gubin, MM, Calcaluce, R, David, JW, Magee, JD, Strouse, CS, Shaw, DP, Ma, L, Brown, A, Hoffman, T, Rold, TL, Atasoy, U. 2010. Overexpression of the RNA binding protein HuR impairs tumor growth in triple negative breast cancer associated with deficient angiogenesis. Cell Cycle 9(16):3337-3346.
  10. Zhu,W, Qin, W, Atasoy, U, Sauter, ER. 2009. Circulating microRNAs in breast cancer and healthy subjects. BMC Res Notes 2:89.
  11. Ishmael, FT, Fang, X, Galdiero, MR, Atasoy, U, Rigby, WFC, Gorospe, M, Cheadle, C, Stellato, C. 2008. Role of the RNA-binding Protein Tristetraprolin in Glucocorticoid-mediated Gene Regulation. J Immunol. 180(12):8342-53.
  12. Casolaro, V, Fang, X, Tancowny, B, Fan, J, Wu, F, Asaki, S, De Fanis, U, Huang, S, Gorospe, M, Atasoy, U, Stellato, C. 2008. Posttranscriptional Regulation of IL-13 in T Cells: Role of the RNA-binding protein HuR. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 121(4):853-9.e4. Epub 2008 Feb 14.
  13. Qin W, Zhu W, Schlatter L, Atasoy U, Hewett JE, Sauter ER. 2007. Increased Expression of the Inflammatory Protein YKL-40 in Precancers of the Breast. Int J Cancer 121(7):1536-42.
  14. Gantt K, Cherry J, Richardson M, Karschner V, Atasoy U, Pekala, PH. 2006. The Regulation of Glucose Transporter (GLUT1) Expression by the RNA Binding Protein HuR. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 99(2):565-74.
  15. Fan, J S, Heller, N M, Gorospe M, Atasoy, U and C Stellato. 2005.The Role of Post-transcriptional Regulation in Chemokine Gene Expression in Inflammation and Allergy. European Resp.26(5):933-947.
  16. Figueroa A, Cuadrado A, Fan J, Atasoy U, Muscat GE, Munoz-Canoves P, Gorospe M, Munoz A. 2003. Role of HuR in skeletal myogenesis through coordinate regulation of muscle differentiation genes. Mol Cell Biol. 23(14):4991-5004.
  17. Tenenbaum SA, Carson CC, Atasoy U, Keene JD. 2003. Genome-wide regulatory analysis using en masse nuclear run-ons and ribonomic profiling with autoimmune sera. Gene 317(1-2):79-87.
  18. Atasoy U, Curry SL, Lopez de Silanes I, Shyu AB, Casolaro V, Gorospe M, Stellato C. 2003. Regulation of eotaxin gene expression by TNF-alpha and IL-4 through mRNA stabilization: involvement of the RNA-binding protein HuR. J Immunol. 171(8):4369-78.
  19. Mazan-Mamczarz K, Galban S, Lopez de Silanes I, Martindale JL, Atasoy U, Keene JD, Gorospe M. 2003. RNA binding protein HuR enhances p53 translation in response to ultraviolet light irradiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2003 100(14):8354-8359.
  20. Atasoy U, Watson J, Patel D, Keene JD. 1998. ELAV protein HuA (HuR) can redistribute between nucleus and cytoplasm and is upregulated during serum stimulation and T cell activation. J Cell Sci. 111 (Pt 21):3145-56.
  21. Atasoy U, Norby-Slycord CJ, Markert ML. 1993. A missense mutation in exon 4 of the human adenosine deaminase gene causes severe combined immunodeficiency. Hum Mol Genet. 2(8):1307-8.
  22. Atasoy U, Watson C, Paul WE. 1992. Derivation of a monoclonal anti-murine IL-4 antibody specific for an epitope expressed on denatured molecules. Cytokine 4(6):537-44.
  23. Snapper CM, Hooley JJ, Atasoy U, Finkelman FD, Paul WE. 1989. Differential regulation of murine B cell Fc gamma RII expression by CD4+ T helper subsets. J Immunol. 143(7):2133-41.
  24. Snapper CM, Hornbeck PV, Atasoy U, Pereira GM, Paul WE. 1988. Interleukin 4 induces membrane Thy-1 expression on normal murine B cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 85(16):6107-11.

Current Lab Members

Graduate Students

Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) students

Undergraduate Students