Mark Bayfield

mbayfieldPhD (Brown)
Associate Professor
Research areas:  Microbiology, RNA Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics

Research Focus

Our research focuses on how conserved mechanisms in RNA metabolism function in both general cellular processes and adaptations to stress.

A major research focus is the La antigen, which is an abundant, ubiquitous factor with several roles in RNA metabolism that are conserved between yeast and humans. The best-characterized function of La is the binding and protection of Pol III transcripts, such as pre-tRNAs, during their processing. However, La has also been implicated in translational regulation, cancer progression and viral pathogenesis in human cells. La has also been shown to act as an RNA chaperone. Little is known about the mechanisms by which La can carry out these various functions in different cellular compartments. Using yeast as a model organism, we have begun to understand how both human and yeast La traffic between intracellular compartments and how La can bind and differentiate between different RNA targets. Future projects in this area of research will provide further insight into the conserved mechanisms by which this multifunctional protein acts in RNA metabolism and human disease. More recently, our work has expanded into the La-related proteins and how these conserved factors also contribute to gene regulation and challenges to human health.

Students in our group can expect extensive training in techniques used in molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry. In addition, microbial genetics, cell biology and fluorescence microscopy methods are used.


Representative publications:

Ehyai, S., Miyake, T., Williams, D., Vinayak, J., Bayfield, M.A. and McDermott, J.C. FMRP recruitment of β-catenin to the translation pre-initiation complex. (2018) EMBO Reports, Accepted.

Vinayak J., Marrella S.A., Hussain R.H., Rozenfeld L., Solomon K., Bayfield M.A. Human La binds mRNAs through contacts to the poly(A) tail. (2018) Nucleic Acids Res. 46(8):4228-4240.

Vakiloroayaei, A., Shah, N.S. Oeffinger, M. and Bayfield, M.A. The RNA chaperone La promotes pre-tRNA maturation via indiscriminate binding of both native and misfolded targets. (2017). Nucleic Acids Res. 45(19): 11341–11355

Brown, K.A., Sharifi, S., Hussain, R., Donaldson, L., Bayfield, M.A., Wilson, D.J. Distinct Dynamic Modes Enable the Engagement of Dissimilar Ligands in a Promiscuous Atypical RNA Recognition Motif. (2016) Biochemistry. 55(51):7141-7150

Tata, A., Perez, C., Campos, M.L., Bayfield, M.A., Eberlin, M.N. and Ifa, D.R. Imprint desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging for monitoring secondary metabolites production during antagonistic interaction of fungi. (2015) Anal Chem 87(24):12298-305.

Tata, A., Perez, C.J., Bayfield, M.A. and Ifa, D.R. Analysis of metabolic changes in plant pathosystems by imprint imaging DESI-MS. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. (2015) 26(4) 641-8.

Hussain, R., Zawawi, M. and Bayfield, M.A. Conservation of RNA chaperone activity of the human La related proteins 4, 6 & 7. (2013). Nucleic Acids Res 41(18):8715-25