Juli Feigon

Juli Feigon

Juli Feigon

Academic titles: 

Distinguished Professor

Structural and Computational Biology
Bioenergy and the Environment
Systems Biology and Biological Regulation
Development and Gene Regulation

Boyer Hall 241
(310) 206-6922


Boyer Hall 270; Molecular Sciences Building 1429
(310) 825-9232

Short Biography: 

Dr. Feigon received her B.A. from Occidental College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego where she studied with Dr. David Kearns. Her postdoctoral work was completed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Alex Rich. Dr. Feigon joined the UCLA faculty in 1985.

Research Interest: 

Nucleic acid structure and function

RNA has increasingly been found to have a role in everything from regulation of transcription and translation to synthesis of the ends of chromosomes to enzymatic reactions. In order to do these things, RNA assumes a variety of shapes and often forms specific RNA-protein complexes. DNA can also adopt a variety of conformations besides the Watson-Crick double helix, and its interactions with proteins are vital to regulation of replication, transcription, and repair. My laboratory studies the structure and function of DNA and RNA primarily using multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, which provides a method for determining the three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and to study their dynamics in solution. In addition to NMR spectroscopy, we use X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering, and cryoelectron microscopy for our structural studies. Structural and dynamics information is correlated with function using a variety of biochemical and molecular biological techniques, to provide insight into how these nucleic acids and nucleic acid-protein complexes work in the cell and how mutations in RNA and DNA can lead to disease. Currently, the research in my laboratory is focused on three major topics: (1) the structure and function of telomerase, (2) biogenesis of H/ACA RNPs, and (3) riboswitch structure and dynamics.


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Phi Beta Kappa, 1975 Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship, November 1982-1985 National Research Service Award, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, November 1984-December 1984 Dupont Young Faculty Award, 1985, 1986 Presidential Young Investigator, National Science Foundation, 1989-1994 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher/Scholar Award, 1990 Glenn T. Seaborg Research Award, 1992 Herbert Newby McCoy Award, 1993 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2002 Council Member, International Society of Magnetic Resonance, 2008 Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2009


Q. Zhang, N.-K. Kim, and J. Feigon: “The architecture of human telomerase RNA”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 10.1073/pnas.1100279108 (2011). [abstract]

B.-K. Koo, C.-J. Park, C.F. Fernandez, N. Chim, Y. Ding, G. Chanfreau, and J. Feigon: “Structure of H/ACA RNP protein Nhp2p reveals cis/trans isomerization of a conserved proline at the RNA and Nop10 binding interface”, J. Mol. Biol. 411, 927-942 (2011). [abstract]

Z. Wang, E. Hartman, K. Roy, G. Chanfreau, and J. Feigon: “Structure of a yeast RNase III dsRBD complex with a non-canonical RNA substrate provides insights into binding specificity of dsRBDs”, Structure 19, 999-1010 (2011). [abstract]

Q. Zhang, M. Kang, R.D. Peterson, and J. Feigon: “Comparison of solution and crystal structure of preQ1 riboswitch reveals calcium induced changes in conformation and dynamics”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 5190-5193 (2011). [abstract]

Q. Zhang, N.-K. Kim, R.D. Peterson, Z. Wang, and J. Feigon: “Structurally conserved five nucleotide bulge determines the overall topology of the core domain of human telomerase RNA”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 18761-18768 (2010). [abstract]

N.-K. Kim, C.A. Theimer, J.R. Mitchell, K. Collins, and J. Feigon: "Effect of pseudouridylation on the structure and activity of the catalytically essential P6.1 hairpin in human telomerase RNA", Nucleic Acids Res. 38, 6746-6756 (2010). [abstract]

M. Kang, R.D. Peterson, and J. Feigon: “Structural Insights into riboswitch control of the biosynthesis of queuosine, a modified nucleotide found in the anticodon of tRNA” Molecular Cell 33, 784-90 (2009) [abstract]

M. Singh, F.A. Gonzales, D. Cascio, N. Heckmann, G. Chanfreau, and J. Feigon: “Structure and functional studies of the CS domain of the essential H/ACA ribonucleoparticle assembly protein SHQ1” J. Biol. Chem. 284, 1906-16 (2008). [abstract]

N.K. Kim, Q. Zhang, J. Zhou, C.A. Theimer, R.D. Peterson, and J. Feigon: "Solution structure and dynamics of the wild-type pseudoknot of human telomerase RNA" J. Mol. Biol. 384, 1249-61 (2008) [abstract]

C.A. Theimer, B.E. Jady, N. Chim, P. Richard, K.E. Breece, T. Kiss, and J. Feigon: “Structural and functional characterization of human telomerase RNA processing and Cajal Body localization signals” Molecular Cell 27, 869-881 (2007). [abstract]

K. Januszyk, P.W. Li, V. Villareal, D. Branciforte, H. Wu, Y. Xie, J. Feigon, J.A. Loo, S.L. Martin, and R.T. Clubb: "Identification and solution structure of a highly conserved C-terminal domain required for the retrotransposition of Long Interspersed Nuclear Element-1" J. Biol. Chem. 282, 24893-24904(2007). [abstract]

H. Wu and J. Feigon: "H/ACA small nucleolar RNA pseudouridylation pockets bind substrate RNA to form three-way junctions that position the target U for modification" PNAS 104, 6655-6660 (2007). [abstract]

R.J. Richards, H. Wu, L. Trantirek, C.M. O'Connor, k. Collins, and J. Feigon: "Structural study of elements of Tetrahymena telomerase RNA stem-loop IV domain important for function" RNA 12, 1475-1485 (2006). [abstract]

C.A. Theimer and J. Feigon: "Structure and function of telomerase RNA", Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 16, 307-318 (2006). [abstract]

R.J. Richards, C.A. Theimer, L.D. Finger, and J. Feigon: "Structure of the Tetrahymena thermophila telomerase RNA helix II template boundary element", Nucleic Acids Res. 34, 816-825 (2006). [abstract]

M. Khanna, H. Wu, C. Johansson, M. Caizergues-Ferrer, and J. Feigon, "Structural study of the H/ACA snoRNP components Nop10p and the 3' hairpin of U65 snoRNA", RNA 12, 40-52 (2006) [abstract]

A.J. Dingley, R.D. Peterson, S. Grzesiek, and J. Feigon, "Characterization of the cation and temperature dependence of DNA quadruplex hydrogen bond properties using high-resolution NMR", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 14466-72 (2005). [abstract]

A.K. Henras, M. Sam, S.L. Hiley, H. Wu, J. Feigon, T.R. Hughes, and G.F. Chanfreau: "Biochemical and genomic and analysis of substrate recognition by the double stranded RNA binding domain of yeast RNase III", RNA 11, 1225-1237 (2005). [abstract]

P.Z. Qin, J. Feigon, and W. Hubbell: "Site-directed spin labeling studies reveal a coupled mechanism in the formation of the GAAA tetraloop/receptor RNA tertiary interaction", J. Mol. Biol. 351, 1-8 (2005). [abstract]

H. Wu, L.D. Finger, J. Feigon: "Structure determination of Protein/RNA complexes by NMR", in Methods in Enzymol. (T.L. James, ed.) Academic Press, 394, 525-545 (2005). [abstract]

C.A. Theimer, C.A. Blois, and J. Feigon: "Structure of the human telomerase RNA pseudoknot reveals conserved tertiary interactions essential for function", Mol. Cell 17, 671-682 (2005). [abstract]

M. Kamionka and J. Feigon: "Structure of the XPC binding domain of hHR23A reveals hydrophobic patches for protein interaction", Protein Science, 13, 2370-2377 (2004). [abstract]

J. Feigon and C. Bustamante: “Nucleic acids – controlling biology and controlled by biophysics” Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol., 14, 333-334 (2004).

L.D. Finger, C. Johansson, B. Rinaldi, P. Bouvet, and J. Feigon "Contributions of the RBDs and linker domains and RNA structure to the specificity and affinity of the nucleolin RBD12/NRE interaction" Biochemistry, 43, 6937-6947 (2004). [abstract]

H. Wu, A. Henras, G. Chanfreau, and J. Feigon: “Structural basis for recognition of the AGNN tetraloop RNA fold by the double-stranded RNA binding domain of Rnt1p Rnase III”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101, 8307-8312 (2004). [abstract]

C. Johansson, L.D. Finger, L. Trantirek, T.D. Mueller, S. Kim, I.A. Laird-Offringa, and J. Feigon: “Solution structure of the complex formed by the two N-terminal RNA-binding domains of nucleolin and a pre-rRNA target”, J. Mol. Biol., 337, 799-816 (2004). [abstract]

T.D. Mueller, M. Kamionka, and J. Feigon: “Specificity of the interaction between UBA domains and ubiquitin”, J. Biol. Chem., 279, 11926-11936 (2004). [abstract]

R. Stefl, H. Wu, S. Ravindranathan, V. Sklenár, and J. Feigon: “DNA A-tract bending in three dimensions: Solving the dA4T4 versus dT4A4 conundrum”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101, 1177-1182 (2004). [abstract]

R.D. Peterson, C.A. Theimer, H. Wu, and J. Feigon: “New Applications of 2D Filtered/Edited NOESY for Assignment and Structure Elucidation of RNA and RNA-Protein Complexes”, J. Biomol. NMR, 28, 59-67 (2004). [abstract]

C.A. Theimer, L.D, Finger, and J. Feigon: “YNMG tetraloop formation by a dyskeratosis congenita mutation in human telomerase RNA”, RNA, 9, 1446-1455 (2003). [abstract]

L.D. Finger, L. Trantirek, C. Johansson, and J. Feigon: “Solution structures of stem-loop RNAs that bind to the two N-terminal RNA-binding domains of nucleolin”, Nucleic Acids Res. 31, 6461-6472 (2003). [abstract]

T.M. Mueller and J. Feigon: “Structural determinants for the binding of ubiquitin-like domains to the proteasome”, EMBO J., 22, 4634-4645 (2003). [abstract]

P.Z. Qin, K. Hideg, J. Feigon, and W.L. Hubbell: "Monitoring RNA base structure and dynamics using site-directed spin labeling", Biochemistry, 42, 6772-6783 (2003). [abstract]

C.A. Theimer, L.D. Finger, L. Trantirek, and J. Feigon: "Mutations linked to dyskeratosis congenita cause dynamic changes in telomerase RNA structure", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 100, 449-454 (2003). [abstract]