Sua Myong

Sua Myong

Associate Professor, Thomas C. Jenkins Department of Biophysics

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Mergenthaler 168

Sua Myong is an associate professor in the Department of Biophysics. Her research focuses on quantitative analysis of gene expression in single molecule and single cell.

Our research interests involve developing and applying single molecule and single cell approaches to acquire quantitative understanding of biology and to find ways to improve human medicine. Single molecule platform offers an exquisite capability to detect molecular interactions and dynamics in real time. We devise sequential experimental stations that measures reactions at the molecular, biophysical and cellular levels. Our laboratory consist of scientists trained in molecular biology, physics, physical chemistry, bioengineering and chemical engineering, which is an ideal team setting for carrying out a highly interdisciplinary research.

The current directions of our research include the following. (i) DNA recombination and repair in which we study proteins involved in homologous recombination and trinucleotide repeat processing (collaborate with Patrick Sung and Timothy Lohman; Nat Comms 2013); (ii) Telomere and telomerase processing where we investigate the Shelterin protein components and their interaction with telomerase (collaborate with Patricia Opresko; Structure 2012, Structure 2014, Scientific Reports 2014); (iii) RNA interference mechanism for which we devised stepwise testing platforms to quantitatively analyze RNAi silencing efficiency (collaborate with Jennifer Doudna; PNAS, 2013, NAR 2014) (iv) Ribonucleoprotein assembly and dynamics where we seek to understand the role of RNA helicases in nucleating and forming granules in vitro and in cells (collaborate with Clifford Brangwynne and Christian Eckmann;PNAS, 2015); (v) G quadruplex (GQ) DNA mediated gene regulation where we investigate the role of GQ in altering transcription and translation (NAR 2014; NAR 2015). 

In technical front, we have pioneered a new method for single molecule fluorescence imaging termed PIFE for protein induced fluorescence enhancement (PNAS 2011). This method offers a unique opportunity of performing single molecule experiment without having to fluorescently label the protein under study, thus expanding the capability of the current single molecule imaging. Recently, we established a real-time single molecule assay for detecting telomerase extension activity (Scientific Report, 2015) and GQ conformation probing assay by induced fluorescence of GQ ligands (NAR, 2015) We expect the outcome of our studies to uncover molecular details that govern cellular responses. This can open a new way of drug targeting, provide drug screening platforms and help optimize drug efficiency. In addition, our capability to perform single cell measurements will lead to better understanding about the cell to cell heterogeneity, which poses a challenging problem in research and biomedicine.

Alexander E., Niaki A. G., Zhang T., Sarkar J., Liu Y., Nirujogi R. S., Pandey A., Myong S., Wang J. "Ubiquilin 2 Modulates ALS/FTD-linked FUS-RNA Complex Dynamics and Stress Granule Formation", PNAS, 2018. ( in press)

Voter A., Qiu Y., Tippana R., Myong S., Keck J. "A guanine-flipping and sequestration mechanism for G-quadruplex unwinding by RecQ helicases", Nat Commun., 2018 Oct 10;9(1):4201.

Sarkar J., Myong S. "Single-Molecule and Ensemble Methods to Probe Initial Stages of RNP Granule Assembly", Methods Molecular Biology, Vol. 1814, Yuri L. Lyubchenko (Eds): Nanoscale Imaging, 978-1-4939-8590-6, 439270_1_En, (19)

Koh H. and Myong S., “Single-cell imaging approaches for studying small RNA induced gene regulation”, Biophysical Journal, 2018

Sarkar J., Lee J.C., Myong S. “Evolving methods in defining the role of RNA in RNP assembly“, Springer book "Biophysics of RNA-Protein Interactions", D. Rueda & C. Joo Editors, 2018

Chen M. C., Tippana R., Demeshkina N. A., Murat P., Balasubramanian S., Myong S., Ferré-D'Amaré A. R., “Structural basis of G-quadruplex unwinding by the DEAH/RHA helicase DHX36”, Nature, 2018

Langdon E. M., Qiu Y., Niaki A. G., McLaughlin G. A., Weidmann C., Gerbich T. M., Smith J. A., Crutchley J. M., Termini C. M., Weeks K. M., Myong S., and Gladfelter A. S., “mRNA structure determines specificity of a polyQ-driven phase separation” Science, 2018

Qiu Y., Koh H.R., Myong S. "Probing Dynamic Assembly and Disassembly of Rad51 Tuned by Srs2 Using smFRET", Methods Enzymol., 2018;600:321-345.

Zhang T., Wu YC., Mullane P., Ji Y. J., Liu H., He L., Arora A., Hwang HY., Alessi A. F., Niaki A. G., Periz G., Guo L., Wang H., Elkayam E., Joshua-Tor L., Myong S., Kim J., Shorter J., Ong SE., Leung A. K. L., Wang J. "FUS Regulates Activity of MicroRNA-mediated Gene Silencing", Molecular Cell, 2018

Koh HR, Ghanbariniaki A, Myong S., “RNA stem structure governs coupling of dicing and gene silencing in RNA interference”. PNAS, 2017 Nov 28;114(48):E10349-E10358.

PubMed Publications