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Xhemalce, Blerta

Blerta Xhemalce

Associate Professor
Molecular Biosciences


Office Location
MBB 2.142BA

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Xhemalce received her Ph.D. at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France and performed her postdoctoral training at the Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The focus of her research is to unravel how gene expression is regulated by epigenetic modifications of chromatin and RNAs. The ultimate goal of her lab is to discover novel enzymes, writers, or erasers of such modifications that are potential targets for therapeutic drugs that could alleviate human diseases including cancer. To achieve this goal the Xhemalce lab uses a diverse array of approaches, including cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, and mass spectrometry. The Xhemalce lab is also committed to supporting its members to achieve their academic goals and to think outside the box.

Reinsborough CW, Ipas H, Abell NS, Gouws EB, Williams JP, Mercado M, Van Den Berg CL and Xhemalçe B.  2021.  BCDIN3D RNA methyltransferase stimulates Aldolase C expression and glycolysis through let-7 microRNA in breast cancer cells. Oncogene 2021 March 4.

McFadden MJ, McIntyre ABR, Mourelatos H, Abell NS, Gokhale NS, Ipas H, Xhemalçe B, Mason CE, Horner SM. 2021.  Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Antiviral Gene Expression by N6-Methyladenosine. Cell Reports 2021 March 2

Kumbhar R, Sanchez A, Perren J, Gong F, Corujo D, Medina F, Devanathan SK, Xhemalçe B, Matouschek A, Buschbeck M, Buck-Koehntop B, Miller KM. 2021. Poly(ADP-ribose)-binding and macroH2A mediate recruitment and functions of KDM5A at DNA lesions. Journal of Cell Biology 2021 May 18

Xhemalçe B. 2021. Editorial of Special Issue on "Biological functions of RNA modifications". Briefings in Functional Genomics, Mar 22.

Debnath TK and Xhemalçe B. 2021. Deciphering RNA modifications at Base Resolution: From Chemistry to Biology. Briefings in Functional Genomics, Jan 18.

Devanathan SK, Debnath TK and Xhemalçe B. 2021. Facile detection of RNA phospho-methylation in cells and tissues. Methods in Enzymology: RNA modification enzymes. Accepted.

Kim JJ, Lee SY, Choi JH, Woo HG, Xhemalce B and Miller KM. 2020. PCAF-mediated histone acetylation promotes replication fork degradation by MRE11 and EXO1 in BRCA-deficient cells. Molecular Cell 2020 Sep 22

Sriraman A, Debnath TK, Xhemalce B and Miller KM. 2020. Making it or Breaking it: DNA methylation and Genome Integrity. Essays in Biochemistry 2020 Aug 19

Reinsborough CW, Ipas H, Abell NS, Nottingham RM, Yao J, Devanathan SK, Shelton SB, Lambowitz AM and Xhemalce B. BCDIN3D regulates tRNA-His 3’ fragment processing. PLOS Genetics 2019 July 22

Shelton SB, Xhemalce B. Antibody-Free Assay for RNA Methyltransferase Activity Analysis. J. Vis. Exp. (149), e59856, doi:10.3791/59856 (2019).

Kim JJ, Lee S, Gong F, Battenhouse AM, Boutz DR, Bashyal A, Refvik ST, Chiang CM, Xhemalce B, Paull TT, Brodbelt JS, Marcotte EM and Miller KM. 2019. Systematic Bromodomain Protein Screens Identify Homologous Recombination and R-Loop Suppression Pathways Involved in Genome Integrity, Genes & Development, 2019; 33: 1751-1774, doi: 10.1101/gad.331231.119

Shelton SB, Shah NM, Abell NS, Mercado M, Devanathan SK and Xhemalce B. Crosstalk between the RNA methylation and histone binding activities of MePCE regulates P-TEFb activation on chromatin. Cell Reports 2018 Feb 6

Bryant JD, Sweeney SR, Sentrandreu E, Shin M, Ipas H, Xhemalce B, Momb J, Tiziani S and Appling DR, Deletion of the neural tube defect-associated gene Mthfd1l disrupts one-carbon and central energy metabolism in mouse embryos. JBC 2018 Apr 20; 293(16):5821-5833.

Abell NS, Mercado M, Caneque T, Rodriguez R and Xhemalce B. Click-qMS identifies PIWIL3 as a mechanistic target of RNA interference activator enoxacin in cancer cells. J Am Chem Soc 2017 Jan 17

Zacharioudakis E, Agarwal P, Bartoli A, Abell NS, Kunalingam L, Xhemalce B, Miller KM, and Rodriguez, R. Chromatin regulates genome targeting with cisplatin.  Angewandte Chemie 2017 May 5

Shelton SB, Reinsborough CW and Xhemalce B,  Who watches the watchmen: Roles of RNA modifications in the RNA interference Pathway, [Invited review] PLOS Genetics 2016 Jul 21;12(7)

Chen W, Ebelt ND, Stracker TH, Xhemalce B, Van Den Berg CL & Miller KM, ATM regulation of IL-8 links oxidative stress to cancer cell migration and invasion, eLife 2015;10.7554/eLife.07270

Spivey EC, Xhemalce B, Shear JB and Finkelstein IJ, A 3D-Prited Microfluidic Microdissector for High-Throughput Studies of Cellular Aging, Analytical Chemistry, 86(15):7406-12

Xhemalce B, From histones to RNA: role of methylation in cancer, (2013) [Invited review, special issue of] Briefings in Functional Genomics on 'The Role of Epigenetics in Cancer', May;12(3):244-53.

Xhemalce B, Robson SC and Kouzarides T, Human RNA methyltransferase BCDIN3D regulates microRNA processing (2012) Cell, 12 October 2012 (Vol. 151, Issue 2, pp. 278-288).

            Highlighted article: David R, Small RNAs: Controlling maturity (2012) Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, December 2012, 13, 752-753.

Dawson MA, Foster SD, Bannister AJ, Robson SC, Wang X, Xhemalce B, Wood AD, Green AR, Göttgens B and Kouzarides T. Three distinct patterns of histone H3Y41 phosphorylation mark active genes (2012) Cell Reports 2012 Sep 20.

Rodriguez R, Miller KM, Forment JV, Bradshaw CR, Nikan M, Xhemalce B, Balasubramanian S and Jackson SP, Small molecule induced DNA damage identifies druggable, alternatively-structured DNA sites. (2012) Nature Chemical Biology 2012 Mar;8(3):225-6.

Xhemalce B, Dawson MA and Bannister AJ, [Book Chapter] Histone Modifications, (2011), Epigenetic Regulation and Epigenomics, "Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine", John Wiley & Sons.

            Cover of Epigenetic Regulation and Epigenomics Book.

Bartke T, Vermeulen M, Xhemalce B, Robson SC, Mann M, Kouzarides T, Nucleosome-Interacting Proteins Regulated by DNA and Histone Methylation (2010) Cell, 29 October 2010 (Vol. 143, Issue 3, pp. 470-484).

Xhemalce B and Kouzarides T, A chromodomain switch mediated by Histone H3 Lysine 4 Acetylation regulates heterochromatin assembly (2010) Genes & Development, 2010 Apr 1; 24(7): 647-52.

            Highlighted article: Kim JH and Workman JL, Histone acetylation in heterochromatin assembly (2010) Genes & Development, 2010 Apr 15; 24(7): 738-40.

Xhemalce B, Miller KM, Driscoll R, Masumoto H, Jackson SP, Kouzarides T, Verreault A and Arcangioli B, Regulation of histone H3 lysine 56 acetylation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe (2007) JBC, 282: 15040-15047.

Xhemalce B, Madi Riising E, Baumann P, Thon G, Dejean A, Arcangioli B and Seeler JS, Role of SUMO in the Dynamics of Telomere Maintenance in Fission Yeast (2007) PNAS Jan 16; 104(3): 893-8.

Xhemalce B, Seeler JS, Thon G, Dejean A and Arcangioli B, Role of the Fission Yeast SUMO E3 Ligase Pli1p in Centromere and Telomere Maintenance (2004) EMBO Journal: 23, 3844-3853.

Epigenetics (BIO 327E), Spring Semester.