Murat Alper Cevher

Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York

Academic Appointments:
Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York

Ph.D. The Graduate School and University Center and Hunter College, City University of New York

Research Focus:
Our research line is focused on studying co-transcription-based gene regulation in various disease models such as colorectal cancer (CRC). We are trying to understand how transcription is controlled by the multisubunit (30 in human) Mediator complex, which is believed to be the universal and preeminent coactivator for RNA polymerase II-mediated transcription. The human Mediator was shown to interact not only with Pol II but also with diverse transcriptional activators. However, despite this clear indication of the function of the Mediator as a bridge between DNA-bound activators and the general transcription machinery (notably Pol II), as well as studies from other laboratories indicating a modular organization of the Mediator (head, middle, tail, and kinase modules), important mechanistic details have been lacking in the understanding of its role in the development of cancer. Our primary goal is to target the Mediator subunits in CRC and understand their roles in the tumor development and dissemination of CRC.

Selected Publications:
Nakadai, T., Shimada, M., Ito, K., Cevher, MA., Chu, CS., Maruyama, R., Malik, S., and Roeder, RG. (2023) Multiple transcription activation pathways for ERR orphan nuclear receptors and selective functions for ERR family members in maintenance of ES cell pluripotency. Cell Res. 2023; 33(2):165-183)

Baris, Y., Jabbar, J., Yozgat, Y., Cigirgan, E., Bay, S., Erden, M., Aslan, MD., and Cevher, MA. NTD-MED14 Containing Human Core Mediator Interacts Only with RPB1 of Pol II and Recruits Pol II to Promoters to Facilitate Basal and Activated Transcription. (BioRxiv doi: 2022)

Yozgat, Y., Karakoc, E., Mardinoglu, A., Gursel, I., Kablan, S., Aydin, MS., Tok, OE., Ozdemir, EM., Sensoy, O., Mansoor, S., Cakir, A., Bayrak, Y., Gunluoglu, MZ., Yildirim, M., Yildirim, TC., Jabbar, J., Senturk, S., Korkaya, H., Sahin, O., Ozturk, G., Kim, W., Basaga, H., and Cevher, MA. Hexokinase 1b is a Novel Target for Metabolic Therapy Against Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer. (BioRxiv doi: 2022)

Chen, Q., Cevher, M.A., Jiang, Q., Sun, X., Roeder, R.G., and Chen, Mo. (2022) LYL1 facilitates AETFC assembly and gene activation by recruiting CARM1 in t(8;21) AML. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2022; 119(42):e2213718119.

Wu*, A., Zhi*, J., Tian*, T., Cihan*, A., Cevher*, M.A., Liu, Z., David, Y., Muir., T.W, Roeder, RG, and Yu, M. (2021) DOT1L Complex Regulates Transcriptional Initiation in Human Cells. PNAS July 6, 2021; 118 (27): e2106148118. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2106148118. (*Equal contribution)

Cevher, M.A. (2021) Reconstitution of Pol II(G) responsive form of the human Mediator Complex. Turk J Biol. 45(3):253-261. DOI: 10.3906/biy-2009-12

Cevher, M. A., Shi, Y., Li, D., Chait, B.T, Malik, S., and Roeder, R.G. (2014) Reconstitution of Active Human Core Mediator Complex Reveals Critical Role of the MED14 Subunit. Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 21:1028-1034. PMC4259101. DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.2914

Cevher, M.A., Fernandez, S., Kim, S., Baquero, J., Nilsson, P., Virtanen, A., and Kleiman, F.E. (2010).   Nuclear deadenylation/polyadenylation factors regulate 3’ processing in response to DNA damage. EMBO  J. 29: 1674-1687. DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2010.59

Cevher, M.A. and Kleiman, F.E. (2010). Connections between 3’ end processing and DNA repair. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA. 1:193-199. DOI: 10.1002/wrna.20

Mirkin, N., Fonseca, D., Mohammed, S., Cevher, M.A., Manley, J.L., and Kleiman, F.E. (2008). The 3′ processing factor CstF functions in the DNA repair response. Nucleic Acids Res. 36: 1792-1804. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkn005

Kim*, H.S., Li*, H., Cevher*, M.A., Parmelee, A., Fonseca, D., Kleiman, F.E., and Lee, S.B. (2006). DNA damage-induced BARD1 phosphorylation is critical for the inhibition of messenger RNA processing by BRCA1/BARD1 complex. Cancer Res. 66: 4561-5. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-3629 (*Equal contribution)

Grants over the last 5 years:

    1. 2023-2027: NIH R01, (co-investigator).
    2. 2022-2025: TUBITAK 1001 Grant, 120S807
      Investigation of Mediator Complex Subunit MED15-Regulated Genes in Potential Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer.
      $100,000. Bilkent University. TUBITAK is the major funding source in Turkey.
    3. 2020-2023: TUBITAK 1001 Grant, 119Z427
      Mediator-Mediated Regulation of ERα Target Genes in MCF7 and MCF7-4OHT
      $100,000. Bilkent University. TUBITAK is the major funding source in Turkey.
    4. 2017-2021: EMBO Installation Grant for Young Independent Investigators.
      €250,000. Bilkent University. Success rate is 10%. (Note: Due to low budget, funding agency cut away €100,000)
    5. 2016-2017: TUBITAK 2232 for Young Investigators.
      $40,000 (includes salary increase). Bilkent University.