Sean P Ryder, Ph.D.


Sean P Ryder, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
University of Massachusetts Medical School
364 Plantation Street, LRB-906
Worcester, MA 01605
Office Phone: 508-856-1372
Faculty page:
Lab website:

In the central nervous system, myelin is formed by specialized glial cells termed oligodendrocytes. The highly polarized nature of oligodendrocytes, together with the requirement that they sense and respond accurately to their extracellular environment, necessitates the development of strategies to control gene expression at regions distal to the cell body. These strategies could influence how the cell decides where to migrate, when to stop dividing and differentiate, and which axons to myelinate. Changes in gene expression at the post-transcriptional or post-translational level allow the cell to respond rapidly and regionally, compared to transcriptional changes that require involvement of the nucleus. Accordingly, several RNA-binding proteins are expressed in cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage where they play regulatory roles in oligodendrocyte maturation or myelin formation. We are mapping the network of mRNA transcripts regulated by these proteins in order to understand how post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression contributes to oligodendrocyte differentiation.

1. Zearfoss, N.R., Clingman, C.C., Farley, B.M., McCoig, L.M., and Ryder, S.P. (2011) Quaking regulates Hnrnpa1 expression through its 3ยด-UTR in oligodendrocyte precursor cells. PLoS Genet, 7, e1001269. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001269

2. Pagano, J.M. Clingman, C.C., and Ryder, S.P. (2011) Quantitative approaches to monitor protein-nucleic acid interactions using fluorescent probes. RNA, 17, 14-20.

3. Ryder, S.P. and Massi, F. (2010) Insights into the structural basis of RNA recognition by STAR domain proteins. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 693, 37-53.

4. Zearfoss, N.R., Farley, B.M. & Ryder, S.P. (2008) Post-transcriptional regulation of myelin formation. Biochem. Biophys. Acta, 1779, 486-494