Dr. Paul Lasko

Professor

Research

The research in Paul Lasko’s laboratory focuses on several topics. The Lasko lab has had a long standing interest in the vasa gene of Drosophila, which encodes a positive regulator of translation of gurken mRNA, and probably also of other germ-line specific mRNAs. The Lasko lab uses genetic and molecular means to identify RNA targets for Vasa, as well as Vasa partner proteins that will provide additional insight into its function. This work has led them to investigate other translational control mechanisms that operate in the Drosophila oocyte and underlie embryonic axis establishment. For example, they are investigating the function of Bicaudal-C, a KH-domain RNA-binding protein that participates in anterior-posterior axis establishment, that also operates non-cell-autonomously in follicle cell patterning. Paul Lasko has also collaborated with Nahum Sonenberg (Department of Biochemistry and McGill Cancer Centre) and his colleagues to elucidate the role of 4EHP, a protein related to the translation initiation factor eIF4E, in Bicoid-mediated translational repression of caudal mRNA. The Lasko and Sonenberg labs have also collaborated in an investigation of the role of eIF4E binding proteins in regulating growth and in stress response.