Colin Conine, PhD

faculty photo
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Core Member, Penn Epigenetics Institute
Faculty, Center for Research on Reproduction and Women's Health
Faculty, Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Investigator, Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
Department: Pediatrics
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
BRB II/III 1309, 421 Curie Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Lab: 215-573-1720
BS (Biochemistry)
University of Rochester, 2007.
PhD (Molecular Biology and Genetics)
University of Massachusetts, Medical School, 2014.
Permanent link
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests:
The functions of small RNAs in fertility, inheritance, and development.

Key words: RNA, sperm, embryogenesis, fertility, epigenetics, microRNAs, epididymis, extracellular vesicles

Research Details:
We are particularly interested in how RNAs present in sperm are capable of transmitting non-genetic information to their progeny, influencing offspring phenotype. This includes, 1) how small RNAs regulate gene expression in the male germline to support spermatogenesis and fertility, 2) how small RNAs are packaged into mature sperm, 3) how RNAs transmitted during fertilization are able to regulate early embryonic gene expression and development, and 4) how this regulation can alter developmental programs to produce a non-genetically inherited phenotype. The lab utilizes a combination of state-of-the-art genomic, molecular biology, and assisted reproduction techniques across multiple model systems including mice, embryonic stem cells, and C. elegans to understand these questions.

Rotation Projects:
The functions of sperm-transmitted small RNAs on embryonic gene expression and development in mice

C. elegans as a model to understand paternal epigenetic inheritance

Soma-to-germline communication of RNAs from the epididymis to sperm in mammals

Conservation of sperm RNAs across species

Novel imprinted genes in early embryonic development in mice

The effect of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) on embryonic development and offspring phenotype

Selected Publications

Lee GS, Conine CC.: The Transmission of Intergenerational Epigenetic Information by Sperm microRNAs. Epigenomes 6: 12, Apr 2022.

Olivia Crocker, Natalie Trigg, Colin Conine: Cloning and sequencing small RNAs. Current Protocols Accpeted, 2022.

Conine CC, Rando OJ.: Soma-to-germline RNA communication. Nat Rev Genet 2022.

Carolina Galan, Ryan W Serra, Fengyun Sun, Vera D Rinaldi, Colin C Conine, Oliver J Rando : Stability of the cytosine methylome during post-testicular sperm maturation in mouse. PLOS Genetics 4(17), March 2021.

Colin C Conine, Fengyun Sun, Lina Song, Jaime A Rivera-Pérez, Oliver J Rando : Sperm Head Preparation and Genetic Background Affect Caput Sperm ICSI Embryo Viability: Cauda-Enriched miRNAs Only Essential in Specific Conditions. Developmental Cell 55(6): 677-678, December 2020.

Conine, CC, Sun ,F, Song, L, Rivera-Pérez, JA, Rando, OJ: MicroRNAs Absent in Caput Sperm Are Required for Normal Embryonic Development. Developmental cell 50(1): 7-8, July 2019.

Conine, CC, Sun, F, Song, L, Rivera-Pérez, JA, Rando, OJ : Small RNAs Gained during Epididymal Transit of Sperm Are Essential for Embryonic Development in Mice. Developmental cell 46(4): 481-494, August 2018.

Sharma, U, Sun, F, Conine, CC, Reichholf, B, Kukreja, S, Herzog, VA, Ameres, SL, Rando, OJ: Small RNAs Are Trafficked from the Epididymis to Developing Mammalian Sperm. Developmental cell 46(4): 481-494, August 2018.

Chan, IL, Rando, OJ, Conine, CC : Effects of Larval Density on Gene Regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans During Routine L1 Synchronization. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 8(5): 1787-1793, May 2018.

Sharma, U, Conine, CC*, Shea, JM, Boskovic, A, Derr, AG, Bing, XY, Belleannee, C, Kucukural, A, Serra, RW, Sun, F, Song, L, Carone, BR, Ricci, EP, Li, X., Fauquier, L, Moore,MJ., Sullivan, R, Mello, CC, Garber, M, and Rando, OJ: Biogenesis and function of tRNA fragments during sperm maturation and fertilization in mammals. Science 351(391–396), January 2016 Notes: *co-first author.

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Last updated: 10/14/2022
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