Syam Somasekharan

Associate Member, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, UBC
Assistant Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre

Office: Robert HN Ho Research Centre
2660 Oak Street, Room 2660, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3Z6
Phone: (604) 875-411 ext 21758

Research Interest

The translation of mRNA to protein at the correct time and designated location is essential for performing its normal function and keeping cellular homeostasis. However, this process can be altered during pathological conditions, leading to either higher or lower protein expression or protein expression in the wrong location. Therefore, precise control of mRNA translation is essential for maintaining healthy cells. mRNA translation is controlled at several levels. The nucleolus controls mRNA translation by regulating the production of ribosomes. Disruptions to the nucleolus could affect ribosome production and affect protein synthesis. Many RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that bind to mRNAs play essential roles in transporting mRNAs between the nucleus and the cytosol. The expression of these RBPs can be altered under pathological conditions, leading to dysregulation of mRNA transport. Our lab is interested in interdisciplinary research to understand the mechanism of mRNA translation at the level of ribosome biogenesis, mRNA transport, and RBPs that play an essential role in this process.

Current research projects

(1) Prostate cancer mRNA translatome profiling to identify biomarkers and therapeutic targets in prostate cancer.

(2) The relationship between RNA granule machinery and resistance to prostate cancer treatment.

(3) Study the role of the nucleolus in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

(4) Study of the functions of X-linked RNA binding motif protein 2 (RBMX2) in phase separation and nucleolar biogenesis.


Comprehensive List

Google Scholar

Selected Publications

Regulation of AR mRNA translation in response to acute AR pathway inhibition

Somasekharan SP, Saxena N, Zhang F, Beraldi E, Huang JN, Gentle C, Fazli L, Thi M, Sorensen PH, Gleave M

SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein interacts with immunoregulators and stress granules and phase separates to form liquid droplets

Somasekharan SP, Gleave M

SILAC-based quantitative MS approach reveals Withaferin A regulated proteins in prostate cancer

Kumar R, Nayak D, Somasekharan SP

G3BP1-linked mRNA partitioning supports selective protein synthesis in response to oxidative stress

Somasekharan SP, Zhang F, Saxena N, Huang JN, Kuo IC, Low C, Bell R, Adomat H, Stoynov N, Foster L, Gleave M, Sorensen PH

Co-translational assembly of proteasome subunits in NOT1-containing assemblysomes

Panasenko OO, Somasekharan SP, Villanyi Z, Zagatti M, Bezrukov F, Rashpa R, Cornut J, Iqbal J, Longis M, Carl SH, Peña C, Panse VG, Collart MA