RNA is typically understood as an intermediary molecule between DNA and protein. But, many noncoding RNAs, as well as the noncoding regions of messenger RNA, are increasingly appreciated as important regulators of gene expression and cellular functions. The forefront of current RNA research centers on understanding its regulatory roles beyond coding potential.
The Hwang laboratory studies regulatory RNAs and aims to understand the RNA-based mechanisms in epigenetic gene regulation and post-transcriptional gene regulation. We use genomic techniques and computational methods to map regulatory RNAs in the human genome and develop high-throughput assays to understand RNA sequences or structures responsible for RNA-protein interactions. Current research projects include investigating RNA’s role in chromatin organization, characterizing small RNA expression in human brain development, and evaluating brain disorder risk variations on RNA-protein interaction dysregulation.
Hwang T, Park CK, Leung AKL, Gao Y, Hyde TM, Kleinman JE, Rajpurohit A, Tao R, †Shin JH and †Weinberger DR. Dynamic regulation of RNA editing in human brain development and disease. Nature Neuroscience (2016), 19, 1093-1099. †co-corresponding.
*Hwang T, *Mathios D, McDonald KL, Daris I, Park SH, Burger PC, Kim S, Dho YS, Carolyn H, Bettegowda C, Shin JH, †Lim M and †Park CK. Integrative analysis of DNA methylation suggests down-regulation of oncogenic pathways and reduced somatic mutation rates in survival outliers of glioblastoma. Acta Neuropathol Commun (2019), 7:88. * equal contribution, †co-corresponding.
*Long Y, *Hwang T, Gooding AR, Goodrich KJ, †Rinn JL and †Cech TR. RNA is essential for PRC2 chromatin occupancy and function in human pluripotent stem cells. Nature Genetics (2020), 52: 931-938. *equal contribution, †co-corresponding.
*Lewandowski JP, *Dumbović G, *Watson AR, *Hwang T, Palmer EJ, Chang N, Much C, Turner KM, Kirby C, Rubinstein ND, Groff AF, Liapis SC, Gerhardinger C, Bester A, Pandolfi PP, Clohessy JG, †Hoekstra HE, †Sauvageau M and †Rinn JL. The Tug1 lncRNA Locus is Essential for Male Fertility. Genome Biology (2020), 21:237. *equal contribution, †co- corresponding.
Holmes ZE, Hamilton DJ, Hwang T, Parsonnet NV, Rinn JL, †Wuttke DS and †Batey RT. The Sox2 transcription factor binds double-stranded RNA. Nature Communications (2020), 11: 1805. †co-corresponding.