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Department of Biology
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Bessie Kebaara

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Associate Professor of Biology

C.315 Baylor Sciences Building
Lab: C.354R Baylor Sciences Bldg.
Office: (254) 710-2136
Lab: (254) 710-2137

Associate Professor of Biology

BS: Microbiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
PhD: Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE

Major area of research: Regulation of gene expression in yeast

Courses currently teaching:
BIO 4401 - Microbiology

Research Interests:

My research interests include the regulation of gene expression, specifically RNA biology. I am interested in understanding the recognition and targeting of natural mRNAs by the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway (NMD) is an evolutionarily conserved mRNA surveillance pathway that contributes to the recognition and rapid degradation of mRNA with premature stop codons, thus preventing the accumulation of potentially harmful truncated proteins. This pathway also recognizes and degrades some natural physiological mRNAs. Natural mRNAs degraded by the nonsense mediated mRNA decay pathway have been identified in eukaryotes ranging from yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae.), to insects (Drosophila melanogaster), plants (Arabidopsis) and humans. My goal is to understand the recognition and targeting of natural mRNAs for NMD-mediated degradation, and understand the physiological consequences that are brought about by the degradation of specific mRNAs in the model organism S. cerevisiae.


Kebaara, B.W. and A.L. Atkin. 2009, Long 3'-UTRs target wild-type mRNAs for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleic Acids Research. 37(9); 2771-2778.

Ghosh S., B. Kebaara, A.L. Atkin, and K.W. Nickerson. 2008. Regulation of aromatic alcohol production in Candida albicans. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74(23): 7211-7218.

Kebaara, B.W., M. L. Langford*, D.H.L.M.P Navarathna, R. Dumitru, K.W. Nickerson, and A.L. Atkin. 2008. Candida albicans Tup1 is involved in the Farnesol-Mediated Inhibition of Filamentous Growth Induction. Eukaryotic Cell, 7(6): 980-987. *B.W.K. and M.L.L. contributed equally to this work.

Kebaara, B.W., L.E. Nielsen, K.W. Nickerson, and A.L. Atkin. 2006. Determination of mRNA half-lives in Candida albicans using thiolutin as a transcription inhibitor. Genome, 49(8):894-899.

Taylor, R.*, B.W. Kebaara*, T. Nazarenus, A. Jones, R. Yamanaka, R. Uhrenholdt, J.P. Wendler, and A.L. Atkin. 2005. Gene sets co-regulated by the Saccharomyces cerevisiae nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. Eukaryotic Cell, 4(12): 2066-2077. * R.T and B.W.K. contributed equally to this work.

Nazarenus, T., B. Cederberg, R. Bell, J. Cheatle, A. Forch, A. Haifley, A. Hou, B.W. Kebaara, C. Shields, K. Stoysich, R. Taylor, and A.L. Atkin. 2005. Upf1p, a highly conserved protein required for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, interacts with the nuclear pore proteins Nup100p and Nup116p. Gene, 345: 199-212.

Kebaara, B.W., T. Nazarenus, R. Taylor, A. Forch, and A.L. Atkin. 2003. The Upf-dependent decay of wild-type PPR1 mRNA depends on its 5'UTR and the first 92 ORF nucleotides. Nucleic Acids Research, 31(12): 3157-3165.

Kebaara, B.W., T. Nazarenus, R. Taylor, and A.L. Atkin. 2003. Genetic background affects relative nonsense mRNA accumulation in wild-type and upf mutant yeast strains. Current Genetics, 43:171-177.

Hornby, J., B.W. Kebaara, and K.W. Nickerson. 2003. Farnesol biosynthesis in Candida albicans: Cellular Response to Sterol Inhibition by Zaragozic Acid B. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 47(7): 2366-2369.

Department of Biology