In Memoriam

Norman B. Hecht

faculty photo
Department: Obstetrics and Gynecology

Contact information
421 Curie Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215 898-0144
Fax: 215 573-7627
B.S. (Biology)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1962.
Ph.D. (Microbiology)
University of Illinois, 1967.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Molecular biology of spermatogenesis, mRNA transport and storage in germ cells

Key words: Spermatogenesis, DNA/RNA-binding proteins, meiosis, oogenesis.

Description of Research
The major research interest of the laboratory has been the regulation of gene expression during spermatogenesis. Using transgenic and gene targeting methodologies, our current research interests focus on: defining the role that DNA/RNA-binding proteins play in mRNA movement, mRNA localization, translational regulation, and transcription; determining the role specific isozymes play in cellular differentiation;investigating cell-cell interactions that regulate germ cell differentiation; and using DNA microarrays to analyze human biopsy samples to determine the causes of human infertility. Recently, we have been using structure based drug design to develop a male contraceptive.

Rotation Projects for 2006-2007
Characterizing knockout and transgenic models for several DNA/RNA-binding and motor proteins from male germ cells and the brain

Lab personnel:
J.Yang., post doc
M. Xu,post doc
N. Iguchi , post doc
T. Hori, post doc
Z.Hu, post doc

Description of Itmat Expertise

Dr. Hecht is studying the post-transcriptional regulation of spermatogenesis with a focus on proteins that control mRNA transport and stabilization.

Selected Publications

Iguchi, N, Tobias, J.W., and Hecht, N.B.: Expression profiling reveals meiotic male germ cell mRNAs that are translationally up- and down-regulated. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 7712-7, 2006.

Yu, Z., Raabe, T. and Hecht, N.B.: The Post-transcriptionally Regulated Germ Cell mRNA, Transition Protein 2 (Tnp2), Is a Probable Target of MicroRNA122. Biol Reprod 73: 427-433, 2005.

Yang, J., Medvedev, S., Reddi, P.P., Schultz, R.M. and Hecht, N.B.: The DNA/RNA-binding protein MSY2 marks specific transcripts for cytoplasmic storage in mouse male germ cells. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 102: 1513-1518, 2005.

Yang, Y., Medvedev, S., Yu, J., Tang, L.C., Agno, J.E., Matzuk, M.M., Schultz, R.M. and Hecht, N.B.: Absence of the DNA/RNA-binding protein MSY2 results in male and female infertility. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 102: 5755-60, 2005.

Cho, Y.S., Iguchi, N., Yang, J., Hoyman, S., Hunt, P. and Hecht, N.B.: Coding and non-coding meiotic RNA targets of testis brain-RNA binding protein (TB-RBP) in mouse testis. Biol Reprod 73: 840-857, 2005.

Chennathukuzhi, V., Stein, J.M., Abel, T., Donlon, S., Yang, S., Miller, J.P., Allman, D.M., Simmons, R.A and Hecht, N.B.: Mice Deficient for TB-RBP Exhibit a Coordinate Loss of Trax, Reduced Fertility, Altered Gene Expression in the Brain and Behavioral Defects. Mol Cell Biol 2003.

Morales, C.R., Lefrancois, S., Chennathukuzhi, V., El-Alfy, M., Wu, X.-Q., Yang, J., Gerton, G.L., and Hecht, N.B.: A TB-RBP and Ter ATPase Complex Accompanies Specific mRNAs from Nuclei Through the Nuclear Pores and into Intercellular Bridges in Mouse Male Germ Cells. Dev Biol 246: 480-94, 2002.

Narisawa, S., Hecht, N.B., Goldberg, E., Reed, J.C. and Millán, J.L.: Testis-Specific Cytochrome C Null Mice Produce Functional Sperm but Undergo Early Testicular Atrophy, Mol Cell Biol. Mol Cell Biol 22: 5554-5562, 2002.

Pascal, J.M., Hart, P.J., Hecht, N.B. and Robertus, J.D.: Crystal Structure of TB-RBP, a Novel RNA-binding and Regulating Protein. J Mol Biol 319: 1049-57, 2002.

Cho, C., Willis, W.D., Goulding, E.H., Jung-Ha, H., Choi, Y.-C., Hecht, N.B. and Eddy, E.M. : Haplo-insufficiency of Protamine 1 or 2 Causes Infertility in Mice. Nature Genetics 28: 82-85, 2001.

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Last updated: 07/27/2009
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