Distinguished Research Professor
Ph.D. (1970) Brandeis University
  • Who's Who in America
  • Chair-Elect of Division H, American Society of Microbiology, 2011-2012
  • Fellow, American Academy for the Advancement of Science
  • American Men and Women in Science
  • Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
  • Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, University of Georgia, 2005
  • SREB Faculty Mentor of the Year, 2004
  • Creative Research Medal, University of Georgia, 1987
  • Grant Support -
    • "The Role of Polyadenylation in RNA Turnover," NIH
    • "Analysis of E. coli Ribonucleases and RNA Metabolism," NIH
  • Research Interests -
    • The stability of mRNAs is an important feature of post-transcriptional regulation in prokaryotes. We are using a combination of genetic and biochemical approaches to analyze the pathways that control the degradation of mRNAs. In addition, we also are examining the biological role of polyadenylation in bacteria, in part by employing genomic arrays. Beyond the work on RNA metabolism, my laboratory continues its genetic and biochemical analysis of DNA repair, mutagenesis, and genetic recombination in E. coli. In particular, we are now working on understanding the role of DNA helicase II in DNA repair, spontaneous mutagenesis and DNA replication. Other interests include the expression of cloned eukaryotic genes in prokaryotic hosts.
Selected Publications: 
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2010. Bacterial/archaeal/organellar polyadenylation. WIREs RNA 2: 256-276.
  • Stead, M.B., S. Marshburn, J. Mitra, L.P. Castillo, D. Ray, H. van Bakel, T.R. Hughes and S. R. Kushner. 2010. Analysis of Escherichia coli RNase E and RNase III Activity in vivo Using Tiling Microarrays. Nucleic Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq1242.
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2010. Processing of the Escherichia coli leuX tRNA transcript, encoding tRNALeu5, requires either the 3’ - 5’ exoribonucleases polynucleotide phosphorylase or RNase P to remove the Rho-independent transcription terminator. Nucleic Acids Research 38: 597-607.
  • Chung, D.-H., Z. Min, B.-C. Wang and S.R. Kushner. 2010. Single amino acid changes in the predicted RNase H domain of Escherichia coli RNase G lead to complementation of RNase E deletion mutants. RNA 16: 1371-1385.
  • Tran, T.T., F. Zhou, S. Marshburn, M. Stead, S.R. Kushner and Z. Xu. 2009. De novo computational prediction of non-coding RNA genes in prokaryotic genomes. Bioinformatics 25: 2897-2905.
  • Carabetta, V.J., B.K. Mohanty, S.R. Kushner and T.J. Silhavy. 2009. The response regulator SprE (RssB) modulates polyadenylation and mRNA stability in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriology 191: 6812-6821.
  • Mohanty, B.K., H. Giladi, V. Maples and S.R. Kushner. 2008. Pp. 3-29. Analysis of RNA Decay, Processing, and Polyadenylation in Escherichia coli and Other Prokaryotes. In Methods in Enzymology, volume 447. L.E. Maquat and C.M. Arraiano (eds.). Academic Press, Burlington.
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2008. Rho-independent transcription terminators inhibit RNase P processing of the secG leuU and metT tRNA polycistronic transcripts in Escherichia coli. Nucleic Acids Research 36: 364-375.
  • Perwez, T., D. Hami, V. Maples, Z. Min, B.-C.Wang and S.R. Kushner. 2008. Intragenic suppressors of temperature-sensitive rne mutations lead to the dissociation of RNase E activity on mRNA and tRNA substrates in Escherichia coli. Nucleic Acids Research 36: 5306-5318.
  • Kushner, S.R. 2007. Chapter 4.6.4. Messenger RNA decay. In, Escherichia coli and Salmonella: cellular and molecular biology. A. Böck, R. Curtis III., Gross, C.A., J.B. Kaper, F.C. Neidhardt, T. Nyström, K.E, Rudd, and C. L. Squires (eds.). American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, DC.
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2007. Ribonuclease P processes polycistronic tRNA transcripts in Escherichia coli independent of ribonuclease E. Nucleic Acids Research 35: 7614-25.
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2006. The majority of E. coli mRNAs undergo post-transcriptional modification in exponentially growing cells. Nucleic Acids Research 34: 5695-5704.
  • Suzuki, K., P. Babitske, S.R. Kushner, and T. Romeo. 2006. Identification of a novel regulatory protein (CsrD) that targets the global regulatory RNAs CsrB and CsrC for degradation by RNase E. Genes and Development 20: 2605-2617.
  • Perwez, T.  and S.R. Kushner. 2006. RNase Z in Escherichia coli plays a significant role in mRNA decay. Molec. Microbiol. 60: 723-737.
  • Kushner, S.R. 2005. Messenger RNA in prokaryotes. In, Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, 2nd Edition. MacMillan Reference Limited. Stockton Press, London.
  • Kushner, S.R. 2004. mRNA decay in prokaryotes and eukaryotes: different approaches to a similar problem. IUBMB Life 56: 585-594.
  • Mohanty, B.K., V.F. Maples and S.R. Kushner. 2004. The Sm-like protein Hfq regulates polyadenylation dependent mRNA decay in Escherichia coli. Molec. Microbiol. 54: 645-658.
  • Kushner, S.R. 2004. mRNA decay and processing. Pp. 327-345 In: The Bacterial Chromosome. N.P. Higgins (ed). ASM Press, Washington, DC.
  • Kushner, S.R. 2004. Pre-tRNA and pre-rRNA processing in bacteria. Pp. 420-424 In: Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry, W. J. Lennarz and M.D. Lane (eds). Elsevier, Oxford.
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2003. Genomic analysis in Escherichia coli demonstrates differential roles for polynucleotide phosphorylase and RNase II in mRNA abundance and decay. Molec. Microbiol. 50: 645-658.
  • Ow, M.C., T. Perwez and S.R. Kushner. 2003. RNase G of Escherichia coli exhibits only limited functional overlap with its essential homologue, RNase E.  Molec. Microbiol. 49: 607-622.
  • Kushner, S.R. 2002. mRNA decay in Escherichia coli comes of age. J. Bacteriol. 184: 4658-4665.
  • Ow, M.C., Q. Liu, B.K. Mohanty, M.E. Andrew, V.F. Maples and S.R. Kushner. 2002. RNase E levels in Escherichia coli are controlled by a complex regulatory system that involves transcription of the rne gene from three promoters. Molec. Microbiol. 43: 159-172.
  • Ow, M.C. and S.R. Kushner. 2002. Initiation of tRNA maturation by RNase E is essential for cell viability in Escherichia coli. Genes and Development 16: 1102-1115.
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2000. Polynucleotide phosphorylase, RNase II and RNase E play different roles in the in vivo modulation of polyadenylation in Escherichia coli. Molec. Microbiol. 36: 982-994.
  • Bügl, H., E.B. Fauman, B.L. Staker, F-Z. Zheng, S.R. Kushner, M.A. Saper, J.C.A. Bardwell and U. Jakob. 2000. RNA methylation under heat shock control. Molecular Cell 6: 349-360.
  • Mohanty, B.K. and S.R. Kushner. 2000. Polynucleotide phosphorylase functions both as a 3' --> 5' exonuclease and a poly(A) polymerase in in Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97: 11966-11971.
  • Ow, M.C., Q. Liu and S.R. Kushner. 2000. Analysis of mRNA decay and rRNA processing in Escherichia coli in the absence of RNase E-based degradosome assembly. Molec. Microbiol. 38: 854-866.
Research Interests Detail: 

RNA metabolism, DNA repair and recombination in prokaryotes: better understanding of the mechanisms involved in processing, maturation, and decay of RNA molecules in E. coli; role of polyadenylation in bacteria; analysis of DNA repair, mutagenesis, and recombination