Faculty Profile

Dr. Young J. Yoon, Ph.D.

Young J. Yoon, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology

Areas of Research: Mechanisms of dendritic RNA localization and local protein synthesis; structural plasticity of spines; single molecule imaging of RNA and proteins; visualizing intracellular translation in real-time.

Professional Interests

My research investigates the regulation of mRNA in neurons from dendritic localization and local translation as a means to control gene expression.  Messenger RNAs are not simply intermediate blueprints for protein synthesis but undergo multiple levels of control which allow neurons to specify gene expression with respect to space and time.  With the aid of high resolution microscopy and single-molecule imaging strategies, we can visualize such events unfolding inside of a living cell.  Combination of molecular tools and imaging strategies now allow us to observe changes in distal regions of neurons in response to local cues in real-time.

The molecular events leading to local protein synthesis and synaptic plasticity in dendrites is not well understood.  We have shown that activating specific synapses can drive localization of endogenous mRNA and subsequent translation of reporter RNA in dendrites of hippocampal neurons.  We have demonstrated that individual mRNAs can be induced to localize at synaptic spines following glutamate uncaging.  In addition, locally synthesized actin protein becomes enriched at the periphery of stimulated spines.  Our approach provides an unprecedented level of spatial and temporal resolution for local protein synthesis and elucidates the mechanism whereby synapses can be identified for strengthening and potentiation by mRNA recruitment and local translation.  


Selected Publications

Yoon, Y.J.¨, Wu, B.¨, Buxbaum, A.R., Das, S., Tsai, A., English, B.P., Grimm, J.B., Lavis, L.D. and Singer, R.H. (2016)  Glutamate-induced RNA localization and translation in neurons.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 113(44): E6877-E6886. PMID: 27791158

¨Equal contribution

 Wu, B., Eliscovich, C., Yoon, Y.J. and Singer, R.H. (2016) Translation dynamics of single mRNAs in live cells and neurons.  Science, 352:1430-1435. PMID: 27313041

Katz, Z.B., English, B.P., Lionnet, T. Yoon, Y.J., Monnier, N., Ovryn, B., Bathe, M. and Singer, R.H. (2015) Mapping translation ‘hot-spots’ in live cells by tracking single molecules of mRNA and ribosomes.  eLife, 10.7554/eLife.10415. PMID: 26760529

Wu, B., Buxbaum, A.R., Katz, Z.B., Yoon, Y.J. and Singer, R.H. (2015) Quantifying Protein-mRNA interactions in single live cells. Cell, 162(1): 211-220. PMID: 26140598

Buxbaum, A.R., Yoon, Y.J., Singer, R.H. and Park, H.Y. (2015) Single-molecule insights into mRNA dynamics in neurons. Trends Cell Biol., 25(8): 468-475. PMID: 26052005

Wu, B., Miskolci, V., Sato, H., Tutucci, E., Kenworthy, C.A., Donnelly, S.K., Yoon, Y.J., Cox, D., Singer, R.H., and Hodgson, L. (2015) Synonymous modification results in high-fidelity gene expression of repetitive protein and nucleotide sequences. Genes & Dev., 29(8): 876-868. PMID: 25877922

Park, H.Y., Lim, H., Yoon, Y.J., Follenzi, A., Nwokafor, C., Lopez-Jones, M., Meng, X., and Singer, R.H. (2014) Visualization of dynamics of single endogenous mRNA labeled in live mouse. Science, 343: 422-424. PMID: 24458643

Chao, J.A., Yoon, Y.J., and Singer, R.H. (2012) Imaging in translation in single living cells. Cold Spring Harb. Perspect. Biol., 4(11): 1-12. PMID: 22960595

Chao, J.A., Yoon, Y.J., and Singer, R.H. Imaging in translation in single living cells. Translational Control in Biology and Medicine.  J.W.B. Hershey (Ed.), M.B. Mathews (Ed.), N. Sonenberg (Ed.) 2012.

Messitt, T.,Gagnon, J.A.¨, Kreiling, J.A.¨, Pratt, C.A.¨ Yoon, Y.J.¨, and Mowry, K.L. (2008)  Multiple Kinesin Motors Coordinate Cytoplasmic RNA Transport on a Sub-population of Microtubules in Xenopus Oocytes. Dev. Cell, 15(3): 426-436. PMID: 18771961

¨Equal contribution

Yoon, Y.J. and Mowry, K.L. (2004) Xenopus Staufen is a component of a ribonucleoprotein complex containing Vg1 RNA and kinesin. Development, 131: 3035-3045. PMID: 15163628

Kress, T.L., Yoon, Y.J., and Mowry, K.L. (2004) Nuclear RNP complex assembly initiates cytoplasmic RNA localization. J. Cell Biol., 165: 203-211. PMID: 15096527

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More Information About Dr. Young Yoon

Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Anatomy and Structural Biology

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue , Room 506
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.2836

Research Information