Sarah Keane

Assistant Professor of Biophysics
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

B.S. Chemistry, Furman University
Ph.D. Chemistry, Indiana University

Research Focus: RNA structure/function using NMR spectroscopy

Phone: 734.615.3361
E-mail: sckeane@umich.edu

RNA molecules play important roles in nearly all aspects of biology and disease including regulatory roles in translation, splicing, and epigenetics. Additionally, RNAs can be catalytic or serve as molecular scaffolds for attracting macromolecular binding partners. Importantly, it has been shown that RNAs are drugable and may serve as exciting targets for small molecule inhibitors given their myriad important roles in biology.

We are broadly interested in understanding the function of noncoding RNAs. In order to understand the mechanism of function, we must first understand structure. Our lab utilizes a diverse toolkit of biochemical and biophysical techniques with a focus on utilizing NMR spectroscopy to study RNA structure and folding.

Keane Research Group


Representative Publications

  1. Keane, S.C., Van, V., Frank, H.M., Sciandra, C.A., McCowin, S., Santos, J., Heng, X., Summers, M.F. NMR detection of intermolecular interaction sites in the dimeric 5′-leader of the HIV-1 genome. PNAS 113, 13033-13038 (2016).

  2. Carlson, L.A., Bai, Y., Keane, S.C., Doudna, J.A., Hurley, J.H. Reconstitution of selective HIV-1 RNA packaging in vitro by membrane-bound Gag assemblies. eLife 2016;5:e14663

  3. Keane, S.C., Heng, X., Lu, K., Kharytonchyk, S., Ramakrishnan, V., Carter, G., Barton, S., Hosic, A., Florwick, A., Santos, J., Bolden, N.C., McCowin, S., Case, D.A., Johnson, B., Salemi, M., Telesnitsky, A., Summers, M.F. Structure of the HIV-1 RNA Packaging Signal. Science 348, 917-921 (2015).  

  4. Alvarado, L.J., LeBlanc, R.M., Longhini, A.P., Keane, S.C., Niyati, J., Yildiz, Z.F., Tolbert, B.S., D’Souza, V.M., Summers, M.F., Kreutz, C., Dayie, T.K. Regio-selective Chemical-Enzymatic Synthesis of Pyrimidine Nucleotides Facilitates RNA Structure and Dynamics Studies. ChemBioChem 15, 1573-1577 (2014).

  5. Keane, S.C. and Giedroc, D.P. Solution Structure of Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV) nsp3a and Determinants of the Interaction with MHV Nucleocapsid (N) Protein. J. Virol. 87, 3502-3515 (2013).

  6. Keane, S.C., Liu, P., Leibowitz, J.L., Giedroc, D.P. Functional transcriptional regulatory sequence (TRS) RNA binding and helix destabilizing determinants of murine hepatitis virus (MHV) nucleocapsid (N) protein.  J. Biol. Chem. 287, 7063-7073 (2012).

  7. Grossoehme, N.E., Li, L., Keane, S.C., Liu, P., Dann, C.E. 3rd, Leibowitz, J.L., Giedroc, D.P. Coronavirus N protein N-terminal domain (NTD) specifically binds the transcriptional regulatory sequence (TRS) and melts TRS-cTRS RNA duplexes. J. Mol. Biol. 394, 544-57 (2009).