Paul Huber

Professor Emeritus


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Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
Professor, University of Notre Dame
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
Research Associate, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago
Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Purdue University
B.S. in Biology & Chemistry, Boston College

Selected Awards

Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Kaneb Teaching Award
FIRST Award, National Institutes of Health
Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health

Research Interests

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.

Selected Publications

  • Yang, C.; Dominique, G. M.; Champion, M. M. and Huber, P. W. "Remnants of the Balbiani Body are Required for Formation of RNA Transport Granules in Xenopus Oocytes" 2022 ISCIENCE, 25 (3), 103878. DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.103878.
  • Zhang, Z. B.; Dubiak, K. M.; Shishkova, E.; Huber, P. W.; Coon, J. J. and Dovichi, N. J. "High-Throughput, Comprehensive Single-Cell Proteomic Analysis of Xenopus Laevis Embryos at the 50-Cell Stage using a Microplate-Based MICROFASP System" 2022 Analytical Chemistry, 94 (7), pp.3254-3259. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c04987.
  • Qu, Y. Y.; Dubiak, K. M.; Peuchen, E. H.; Champion, M. M.; Zhang, Z. B.; Hebert, A. S.; Wright, S.; Coon, J. J.; Huber, P. W. and Dovichi, N. J. "Quantitative Capillary Zone Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry Reveals theN-Glycome Developmental Plan during Vertebrate Embryogenesis" 2020 Molecular Omics, 16 (3), pp.210-220. DOI: 10.1039/d0mo00005a.
  • Zhang, Z. B.; Dubiak, K. M.; Huber, P. W. and Dovichi, N. J. "Miniaturized Filter-Aided Sample Preparation (MICRO-FASP) Method for High Throughput, Ultrasensitive Proteomics Sample Preparation Reveals Proteome Asymmetry in Xenopus Laevis Embryos" 2020 Analytical Chemistry, 92 (7), pp.5554-5560. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00470.
  • Bertke, M. M.; Dubiak, K. M.; Cronin, L.; Zeng, E. L. and Huber, P. W. "A Deficiency in SUMOylation Activity Disrupts Multiple Pathways Leading to Neural Tube and Heart Defects in Xenopus Embryos" 2019 BMC Genomics, 20, 386. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-019-5773-3.
  • Wang, M.; Dubiak, K.; Zhang, Z. B.; Huber, P. W.; Chen, D. and Dovichi, N. J. "MALDI-Imaging of Early Stage Xenopus Laevis Embryos" 2019 Talanta, 204 pp.138-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2019.05.060.