Professor Huber received his B.S. in biology and chemistry from Boston College in 1973 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University in 1978. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago from 1979 to 1981. He continued there as a research associate and instructor until joining the faculty at Notre Dame in 1985. During 1997 he was a Visiting Fellow at Yale University.
Several important events transpire in Xenopus oocytes that determine proper development during embryogenesis. Because there is no transcription during the rapid cell division cycles of early embryogenesis, the oocyte must stockpile large amounts of ribosomes to support the demands of protein synthesis during the period following fertilization. There are two types of genes that encode 5S ribosomal RNA. One, the somatic-type, is transcribed at all stages of development, while the other, the oocyte-type, is only transcribed during oogenesis and early embryogenesis. Thus, the differential expression of these genes provides a good model system for studying the developmental control of transcription. The principal regulator of 5S rRNA gene transcription is TFIIIA. We have found that this transcription factor becomes phosphorylated and SUMOylated at key times during development. These modifications apparently change the expression pattern of the 5S rRNA genes. The goal of this work is to understand these events at the molecular level.
The body plan of the frog begins to be determined in the unfertilized oocyte. The localization of some crucial mRNAs to specific regions of this single cell is a major mechanism that underlies proper development during embryogenesis. One mRNA, Vg1, encodes a member of the TGF-β family and is localized to the vegetal cortex of the mature oocyte. We have identified several proteins that bind to the region of Vg1 mRNA that determines its localization and translational control. Currently, our aim is to determine the role of each factor in localization, how these proteins interact and work together in this process, and to identify other components of the mRNA localization pathway.
"Binding Site for Xenopus Ribosomal Protein L5 and Accompanying Structural Changes in 5S rRNA", J. B. Scripture and P. W. Huber, Biochemistry 50, 3827-3839 (2011).Link
"Detection of Protein–RNA Complexes in Xenopus Oocytes", P. W. Huber and W.-m. Zhao, Methods 51, 82-86 (2010)Link
"Interactions of 40LoVe within the ribonucleoprotein complex that forms on the localization element of Xenopus Vg1 mRNA" T.T Kroll, L.B. Swenson, E.I. Hartland, D.D. Snedden, H.V. Goodson, and P.W. Huber, Mech. Dev. 126, 523-538 (2009) [Cover Feature]Link
"A Manganese-Dependent Ribozyme in the 3'-Untranslated Region of Xenopus Vg1 mRNA" N. G. Kolev, E. I. Hartland, and P. W. Huber, Nucleic Acids Res. 36, 5530-5539 (2008).Link
Faculty of 1000 Recommended "VgRBP71 Stimulates Cleavage at a Polyadenylation Signal in Vg1 mRNA, Resulting in the Removal of a Cis-acting Element that Represses Translation", N. G. Kolev, and P. W. Huber, Mol. Cell 11, 745-755 (2003).Link
Faculty of 1000 Recommended "The Structure of Helix III in Xenopus Oocyte 5S rRNA: An RNA Stem Containing a Two-Nucleotide Bulge", P. W. Huber, J. P. Rife, and P. B. Moore, J. Mol. Biol. 312, 823-832 (2001)Link