Inna Afasizheva, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Molecular & Cell Biology

PhD, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
MS, Moscow State University
BS, Moscow State University

molecular biology
mitochondrial gene expression
RNA editing

Regulation of Mitochondrial Gene Expression by Pentatricopeptide Repeat RNA Binding Proteins -
The majority of trypanosomal mitochondrial pre-mRNAs undergo massive uridine insertion/deletion editing which creates open reading frames. However, our recent findings indicated that pre- and post-editing processing steps are also required to produce translation-competent mRNAs. Pre-editing addition of short 3' A-tails exerts no influence on unedited pre-mRNA stability, but stabilizes transcripts that are edited beyond few initial sites. The post-editing extension of A-tails into A/U heteropolymers by KPAP1 poly(A) polymerase and RET1 TUTase commits fully-edited mRNAs to translation. To identify factors responsible for coupling of editing, polyadenylation, and translation, we built a comprehensive protein interactions network of respective machineries. The ensuing RNAi screen distinguished several pentatricopeptide repeat-containing (PPR) RNA binding proteins acting to: 1) stabilize mRNA prior to polyadenylation 2) block premature mRNA uridylation and 3) induce transcript-specific adenylation uridylation.

Boston University
Genome Science Institute

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Decoding the mitochondrial proteomes of six pathogenic protozoa
11/01/2022 - 10/31/2025 (PI)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Repeat-containing RNA Binding Proteins of Trypanosomes
02/24/2020 - 01/31/2025 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases

Repeat-containing RNA Binding Proteins of Trypanosomes
01/05/2015 - 02/23/2020 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Aphasizheva I, Suematsu T, Vacas A, Wang H, Fan C, Zhao X, Zhang L, Aphasizhev R. CTS tag-based methods for investigating mitochondrial RNA modification factors in Trypanosoma brucei. Methods Enzymol. 2021; 658:83-109.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34517961; PMCID: PMC9805619; DOI: 10.1016/bs.mie.2021.06.004;
  2. Aphasizheva I, Alfonzo J, Carnes J, Cestari I, Cruz-Reyes J, Göringer HU, Hajduk S, Lukeš J, Madison-Antenucci S, Maslov DA, McDermott SM, Ochsenreiter T, Read LK, Salavati R, Schnaufer A, Schneider A, Simpson L, Stuart K, Yurchenko V, Zhou ZH, Zíková A, Zhang L, Zimmer S, Aphasizhev R. Lexis and Grammar of Mitochondrial RNA Processing in Trypanosomes. Trends Parasitol. 2020 04; 36(4):337-355. PMID: 32191849; PMCID: PMC7083771; DOI: 10.1016/;
  3. Aphasizheva I, Zhang L, Aphasizhev R. Investigating RNA editing factors from trypanosome mitochondria. Methods. 2016 Sep 01; 107:23-33.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27020893; PMCID: PMC5094665; DOI: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2016.03.020;
  4. Aphasizheva I, Aphasizhev R. U-Insertion/Deletion mRNA-Editing Holoenzyme: Definition in Sight. Trends Parasitol. 2016 Feb; 32(2):144-56.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26572691; PMCID: PMC4737982; DOI: 10.1016/;
  5. Aphasizheva I, Zhang L, Wang X, Kaake RM, Huang L, Monti S, Aphasizhev R. RNA binding and core complexes constitute the U-insertion/deletion editosome. Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Dec 1; 34(23):4329-42.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25225332; PMCID: PMC4248751; DOI: 10.1128/MCB.01075-14;
  6. Aphasizhev R, Aphasizheva I. Mitochondrial RNA editing in trypanosomes: small RNAs in control. Biochimie. 2014 May; 100:125-31.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24440637; PMCID: PMC4737708; DOI: 10.1016/j.biochi.2014.01.003;
  7. Aphasizheva I, Maslov DA, Aphasizhev R. Kinetoplast DNA-encoded ribosomal protein S12: a possible functional link between mitochondrial RNA editing and translation in Trypanosoma brucei. RNA Biol. 2013 Nov; 10(11):1679-88.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24270388; PMCID: PMC3907478; DOI: 10.4161/rna.26733;
  8. Aphasizhev R, Aphasizheva I. Emerging roles of PPR proteins in trypanosomes: switches, blocks, and triggers. RNA Biol. 2013; 10(9):1495-500.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24055869; PMCID: PMC3858432; DOI: 10.4161/rna.26215;
  9. Aphasizhev R, Aphasizheva I. Mitochondrial RNA processing in trypanosomes. Res Microbiol. 2011 Sep; 162(7):655-63.View Related Profiles. PMID: 21596134; PMCID: PMC3148333; DOI: 10.1016/j.resmic.2011.04.015;
  10. Aphasizheva I, Maslov D, Wang X, Huang L, Aphasizhev R. Pentatricopeptide repeat proteins stimulate mRNA adenylation/uridylation to activate mitochondrial translation in trypanosomes. Mol Cell. 2011 Apr 8; 42(1):106-17.View Related Profiles. PMID: 21474072; PMCID: PMC3073060; DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.02.021;
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This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 31 publications over 17 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 1998 and 2004 and 2007 and 2010 and 2011

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72 E. Concord St Evans Building
Boston MA 02118
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