Jeffry Corden

Academic Titles: 
Position Title: 

Biochemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology (BCMB)


725 N. Wolfe Street
617 Hunterian
Baltimore, MD 21205

Research Interest: 
Regulation of gene expression through the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain (CTD)

Eucaryotic RNA polymerase II is unique among RNA polymerases in containing an unusual repetitive domain at the C-terminus of the largest subunit. This C-terminal domain (CTD) is comprised of tandem repeats of the consensus sequence TyrSerProThrSerProSer. We are using genetic and biochemical approaches to investigate the functional role of the CTD in biogenesis of mRNA. Both yeast and mammalian systems are being employed.


A major effort in the lab is directed at studies of proteins that bind the CTD. Using the yeast two-hybrid approach we identified a family of proteins that interact with the CTD. These proteins are similar to the serine/arginine-rich proteins involved in pre-mRNA splicing. A current focus of the laboratory is to determine how these proteins function in mRNA biogenesis and how CTD phosphorylation regulates this function.


The yeast Nrd1 and Nab3 proteins interact with the CTD and act to direct termination of Pol II transcripts in a manner that does not lead to polyadenylation. We have shown that this pathway is important for formation of the 3’ ends of small nuclear and nucleolar RNA transcripts in yeast. Furthermore, this pathway directs termination of a class of yeast intergenic and antisense transcripts. This surveillance mechanism involves the exonuclease complex called the nuclear exosome and an RNA helicase called Sen1. We are currently investigating the mechanism by which RNA sequences in the nascent transcript trigger Pol II termination. We are also beginning to investigate the role of related human proteins that bind both the CTD and RNA. We have not yet identified the RNA (gene) targets of these proteins and this is a project open to incoming graduate students.

Mini Biography: 
Lab Members:
Namesort descending Classification Email
Cynthia Rogers MBG Administrative Staff
Jonathan D. Merran Research Technologist
Selected Publications:
Kwon I, Kato M, Xiang S, Wu L, Theodoropoulos P, Mirzaei H, Han T, Xie S, Corden JL, McKnight SL. (2013) Phosphorylation-regulated binding of RNA polymerase II to fibrous polymers of low-complexity domains. Cell 155, 1049-1060. [ link ]
Corden JL. (2013) RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain: Tethering transcription to transcript and template. Chemical Reviews 113, 8423-8455. [ link ]
Darby MM, Serebreni L, Pan X, Boeke JD, Corden JL. (2012) The S. cerevisiae Nrd1-Nab3 Transcription Termination Pathway Acts in Opposition to Ras Signaling and Mediates Response to Nutrient Depletion. Molecular and Cellular Biology 32:1762-75. [ link ]
Jamonnak N, Creamer T, Darby M, Schaughency P, Wheelan S, Corden J. (2011) Yeast Nrd1, Nab3 and Sen1 transcriptome-wide binding maps suggest multiple roles in post-transcriptional RNA processing. RNA 17, 2011-2025. [ link ]
Creamer TJ, Darby MM, Jamonnak N, Schaughency P, Hao H, Wheelan SJ, Corden JL. (2011) Transcriptome-wide binding sites for componenets of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae non-poly(A) termination pathway: Nrd1, Nab3 and Sen1. PLoS Genetics 7, e1002329. [ link ]
Corden JL. (2010). Shining a new light on RNA-protein interactions. Chemistry & Biology. 17(4):316-318. [ link ]
Corden JL. (2008). Yeast Pol II start-site selection: the long and the short of it. EMBO Reports. 9:1084-1086. [ link ]
Corden JL. (2007). Transcription. Seven ups the code. Science. 318:1735-1736. [ link ]