Deborah Lycan Homepage
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Deborah E. Lycan
Professor of Biology and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology


Biology Department,
Lewis and Clark College,
0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd.
Portland OR 97219

Office Phone: 503-768-7382
Lab Phone: 503-768-7384
FAX: 503-768-7658
email: lycan@lclark.edu

B.A. University of California, San Diego
Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder
Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School



Self portrait 1

Teaching
Bio 200 Investigations in Cell and Molecular Biology
Bio 311 Molecular Biology
Bio 312 Recombinant DNA Lab
BCMB 410
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Seminar
Bio 320
Human Genes and Disease

Paula Hayes teaching award

Research
Lycan Lab: People: Undergraduate students and post-docs in the lab (past and present)

Current research interests and projects
Our research focuses on how ribosomal subunits are assembled in eukaryotic cells. We use the yeast S. cerevisiae as a model organism to study this essential and highly conserved process.   Ribosomes are among the largest and most complex macromolecular machines assembled in cells. Ribosomes are assembled from imported ribosomal proteins on nascent rRNA in the nucleolus of the cell. The large and small subunits are then independently exported through nuclear pores at rates that can reach 30 subunits per second.   Both subunits require the export receptor Crm1 for export, and both undergo independent post-export maturation events that are required before the subunits are translation-ready. Over 150 proteins that do not end up as constituents of the mature ribosome are necessary for ribosome biogenesis.   The molecular details of how most of these non-ribosomal proteins function is unknown.  

We have focused our work on the late steps of small subunit biogenesis.   In particular, we are characterizing the role of Ltv1, a late adding biogenesis factor, and the role of RpS3, a ribosomal protein that interacts with Ltv1.   We hope to understand better what role ribosomal proteins play in ribosome biogenesis and what role Ltv1 plays in both export and subunit maturation.

RpS3 structure in the yeast 40S subunit

Selected publications:

Jesse W. Loar*, Robert M. Seiser, Alexandra E. Sundberg*, Holly J. Sagerson*, Nasreen Ilias*, Pamela Zobel-Thropp, Elizabeth A. Craig, and Deborah E. Lycan . (2004) Genetic and biochemical interactions among Yar1, Ltv1 and Rps3 define novel links between environmental stress and ribosome biogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 168 :1877-89.

Robert M. Seiser, Alexandra Sundberg*, Bethany Wollam*, Pamela Zobel-Thropp, Katherine Baldwin*, Maxwell Spector*, and Deborah E. Lycan. (2006) Ltv1 is required for efficient nuclear export of the ribosomal small subunit in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 174: 1-13.

Claire A. Fassio*, Brett J. Schofield*, Robert M. Seiser, Arlen W. Johnson and Deborah Lycan. (2010) Dominant mutations in the late 40S biogenesis factor Ltv1 affect cytoplasmic maturation of the small ribosomal subunit in S. cerevisiae. Genetics 185: 199-209.

* Undergraduate co-authors.

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Created by: lycan@lclark.edu
Updated: Oct. 2012