Honors & Awards

  • Walter V. and Idun Berry Postdoctoral Fellowship, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (2014-2017)
  • Stanford Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (2014-2015)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, CANBI-PHD (2013)
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Molecular and Cellular Biology (2007)


Journal Articles

  • DNA damage-specific deubiquitination regulates Rad18 functions to suppress mutagenesis. journal of cell biology Zeman, M. K., Lin, J., Freire, R., Cimprich, K. A. 2014; 206 (2): 183-197


    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lesions encountered during replication are often bypassed using DNA damage tolerance (DDT) pathways to avoid prolonged fork stalling and allow for completion of DNA replication. Rad18 is a central E3 ubiquitin ligase in DDT, which exists in a monoubiquitinated (Rad18•Ub) and nonubiquitinated form in human cells. We find that Rad18 is deubiquitinated when cells are treated with methyl methanesulfonate or hydrogen peroxide. The ubiquitinated form of Rad18 does not interact with SNF2 histone linker plant homeodomain RING helicase (SHPRH) or helicase-like transcription factor, two downstream E3 ligases needed to carry out error-free bypass of DNA lesions. Instead, it interacts preferentially with the zinc finger domain of another, nonubiquitinated Rad18 and may inhibit Rad18 function in trans. Ubiquitination also prevents Rad18 from localizing to sites of DNA damage, inducing proliferating cell nuclear antigen monoubiquitination, and suppressing mutagenesis. These data reveal a new role for monoubiquitination in controlling Rad18 function and suggest that damage-specific deubiquitination promotes a switch from Rad18•Ub-Rad18 complexes to the Rad18-SHPRH complexes necessary for error-free lesion bypass in cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1083/jcb.201311063

    View details for PubMedID 25023518

  • Causes and consequences of replication stress NATURE CELL BIOLOGY Zeman, M. K., Cimprich, K. A. 2014; 16 (1): 2-9

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncb2897

    View details for Web of Science ID 000329042000003

  • Finally, Polyubiquitinated PCNA Gets Recognized MOLECULAR CELL Zeman, M. K., Cimprich, K. A. 2012; 47 (3): 333-334


    Studies from Ciccia et al. (2012) and Yuan et al. (2012) in this issue of Molecular Cell, together with Weston et al. (2012), reveal that the translocase ZRANB3/AH2 can recognize K63-linked polyubiquitinated PCNA and plays an important role in restarting stalled replication forks.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.07.024

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307484600002

    View details for PubMedID 22883622

  • SHPRH and HLTF Act in a Damage-Specific Manner to Coordinate Different Forms of Postreplication Repair and Prevent Mutagenesis MOLECULAR CELL Lin, J., Zeman, M. K., Chen, J., Yee, M., Cimprich, K. A. 2011; 42 (2): 237-249


    Postreplication repair (PRR) pathways play important roles in restarting stalled replication forks and regulating mutagenesis. In yeast, Rad5-mediated damage avoidance and Rad18-mediated translesion synthesis (TLS) are two forms of PRR. Two Rad5-related proteins, SHPRH and HLTF, have been identified in mammalian cells, but their specific roles in PRR are unclear. Here, we show that HLTF and SHPRH suppress mutagenesis in a damage-specific manner, preventing mutations induced by UV and MMS, respectively. Following UV, HLTF enhances PCNA monoubiquitination and recruitment of TLS polymerase ?, while also inhibiting SHPRH function. In contrast, MMS promotes the degradation of HLTF and the interactions of SHPRH with Rad18 and polymerase ?. Our data suggest not only that cells differentially utilize HLTF and SHPRH for different forms of DNA damage, but also, surprisingly, that HLTF and SHPRH may coordinate the two main branches of PRR to choose the proper bypass mechanism for minimizing mutagenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.02.026

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289873700011

    View details for PubMedID 21396873

  • Developmental characteristics of dendritic spines in the dentate gyrus of Fmr1 knockout mice BRAIN RESEARCH Grossman, A. W., Aldridge, G. M., Lee, K. J., Zeman, M. K., Jun, C. S., Azam, H. S., Arii, T., Imoto, K., Greenough, W. T., Rhyu, I. J. 2010; 1355: 221-227


    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited mental retardation. The neuroanatomical phenotype of adult FXS patients, as well as adult Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice, includes elevated dendritic spine density and a spine morphology profile in neocortex that resembles younger individuals. Developmental studies in mouse neocortex have revealed a dynamic phenotype that varies with age, especially during the period of synaptic pruning. Here we investigated the hippocampal dentate gyrus to determine if the FXS spine phenotype is similarly tied to periods of maturation and pruning in this brain region. We used high-voltage electron microscopy to characterize Golgi-stained spines along granule cell dendrites in Fmr1 KO and wildtype (WT) mouse dentate gyrus at postnatal days 15, 21, 30, and 60. In contrast to neocortex, dendritic spine density was higher in Fmr1 KO mice across development. Interestingly, neither genotype showed specific phases of synaptogenesis or pruning, potentially explaining the phenotypic differences from neocortex. Similarly, although the KO mice showed a more immature morphological phenotype overall than WT (higher proportion of thin headed spines, lower proportion of mushroom and stubby spines), both genotypes showed gradual development, rather than impairments during specific phases of maturation. Finally, spine length showed a complex developmental pattern that differs from other brain regions examined, suggesting dynamic regulation by FMRP and other brain region-specific proteins. These findings shed new light on FMRP's role in development and highlight the need for new techniques to further understand the mechanisms by which FMRP affects synaptic maturation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.07.090

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282504300023

    View details for PubMedID 20682298

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