Epigenetic regulation of genome integrity by a prion-based mechanism


Byers, J.S., Garcia, D.M., Jarosz, D.F.

Revealed how a newly discovered non-amyloid prion can fuel a quasi-Lamarckian form of inheritance that promotes survival of the current generation and diversification of the next. 


A common bacterial metabolite elicits prion-based bypass of glucose repression

eLife 5:e17978

Garcia, D.M.*, Dietrich, D.*, Clardy, J.‡, Jarosz, D.F.‡

Activity-guided fractionation identified the first bacterial metabolite that potently induces a prion in nature. Demonstrated that chemically simple and ubiquitous small molecules can induce epigenetic states. Also finally explained a mysterious observation first made by Louis Pasteur over 140 years ago.

eLife Insight: An acid tale of prion formation. Tuite, M.F., eLife 2016, 5:e22256

• Editor’s Choice: Bacteria stop fermentation with lactic acid. Science Signaling  9,457: ec288

• Stanford Medicine Scope: How prions help yeast feast. Spector, R., December 1, 2016


Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Drive Emergence and Inheritance of Biological Traits

Cell 167, 369–381

Chakrabortee, S.*, Byers, J.S.*, Jones, S., Garcia, D.M., Bhullar, B., Chang, A., She, R., Lee, L., Fremin, B., Lindquist, S. ‡, Jarosz, D.F. ‡

Defined a new class of non-amyloid prions in yeast responsible for protein-based transgenerational inheritance that do not rely necessarily on stable protein aggregates like classic (amyloid) prions.

• Remembering the Past: A New Form of Protein-Based Inheritance. Tuite, M.F., Cell 167, 369–381

• Science Daily: Revising the meaning of ‘prion’. October 4, 2016

• Stanford Medicine Scope: DNA dethroned? Spector, R., October 6, 2016


Rebels with a cause: molecular features and physiological consequences of yeast prions (Review)

FEMS Yeast Research 14 (1): 136–147

Garcia, D.M. and Jarosz, D.F.


Weak Seed-Pairing Stability and High Target-Site Abundance Decrease the Proficiency of lsy-6 and Other miRNAs

Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 18 (10): 1139–1146

Garcia, D.M.*, Baek, D.*, Shin, C., Bell, G.W., Grimson, A., Bartel, D.P. 

Discovered new sequence features central to the microRNA pathway, an ancient and widespread mechanism of post-transcriptional gene control. Results were integrated into miRNA target prediction program TargetScan.org, used by tens of thousands of users per month.

science writing for the public


Extreme Tissue Regeneration

OZY magazine, 2014

Garcia, D.M.

Highlights research on planaria, nature's king of regeneration.

Great Adaptations: A versatile bacterium provides insight into multicellular microbial life and tackling deadly infections  

Natural History Magazine, 2012

Garcia, D.M.

Story of how evolution constructs beautifully fluid connections between ancient microbiology and human disease.

you'd prefer an argonaute  

Garcia, D.M. (plus contributors from MIT Biology)

The original online journal club. A blog about RNA research and biomedical science. ~50,000 views. (Active 2009–2015)