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Stephanie S. Ceman

Profile picture for Stephanie S. Ceman

Contact Information

Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology
University of Illinois
601 S. Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology

Research Interests

Research Topics

Neurobiology, Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions, Regulation of Gene Expression

Disease Research Interests

Neurological and Behavioral Disorders

Research Description

Molecular basis of disease, post-translational modifications, regulation of RNA expression, RNA-protein interactions

The fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP is required for normal cognition: when it is absent, the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, fragile X syndrome (FXS) results. Thus, FMRP is a molecular entry point for understanding normal brain function. FMRP is an RNA binding protein that binds ~4% of brain mRNAs and regulates their expression—either enhancing or suppressing translation by an unknown mechanism. Bursts of protein translation are required for normal development and neuronal function but it is unknown how this process is regulated. We identified the RNA helicase MOV10 as a novel interactor of FMRP. MOV10 is elevated in developing brain and is required for viability as well as normal dendritic arborization and mouse behavior. Our goal is to understand how these RNA binding proteins function to facilitate learning and memory.


B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Bacteriology)
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Genetics)
Postdoctoral fellow, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral fellow, Emory University

Highlighted Publications

Representative Publications

Lannom, M.C., Nielsen, J., Nawaz, A., Shilikbay, T. and Ceman, S. 2021. FMRP and MOV10 regulate Dicer1 expression and dendrite development PLOS ONE, accepted Nov. 16, 2021

Nawaz, A., Shilikbay, T., Skariah, G. and Ceman, S. 2021. Unwinding the roles of RNA helicase MOV10. WIREs Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Jul 29:e1682. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1682

Kenny, P.J., Kim, M., Skariah, G., Nielsen, J., Lannom, M.C., and Ceman, S. 2020. The FMRP-MOV10 complex: A translational regulatory switch modulated by G-Quadruplexes. Nucleic Acids Research.

DeThorne, L. and Ceman, S. 2018. Genetic testing and autism: Tutorial for communication sciences and disorders. J. Communication Disorders. 74:61-73

Skariah, G., Perry, K. J., Drnevich, J., Henry, J. J. and Ceman, S. 2017. Mov10 is essential for gastrulation and CNS development. Dev Dyn. 247(4): 660-671. PMID:29266590 • Featured as the cover article 04/2018 • Referenced in a F1000 Faculty review 

Skariah, G., Seimetz, J., Norsworthy, M., Lannom, M.C., Kenny, P. J., Elrakhawy, M., Forsthoefel, C., Drnevich, J., Kalsotra, A., Ceman. S. (2017). Mov10 suppresses retroelements and regulates neuronal development and function in developing brain. BMC Biology. 15(1):54 PMID:28662698 • Recommended by Faculty of 1000

Kenny, P. J. and Ceman, S. 2016. RNA secondary structure modulates FMRP’s bi-functional role in the microRNA pathway. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.17(6): pii: E985 

Kenny, P.J., Zhou, H., Kim, M., Skariah, G., Khetani, R.S., Drnevich, J., Arcila, M.L., Kosik, K.S., Ceman, S. 2014. MOV10 and FMRP Regulate AGO2 Association with MicroRNA Recognition Elements. Cell Rep. 9(5): 1729-41 

Kim, M. and S. Ceman. 2012. Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein: Past, Present and Future. Current Protein & Peptide Science. 13: 358-371

Blackwell, E. and Ceman, S. 2012. Arginine methylation of RNA binding proteins regulates cell function and differentiation. Molecular Reproductive Physiology.79:163-175

Winograd, C. and Ceman, S. 2011. Fragile X family members have important and non-overlapping functions. Biomolecular Concepts. Oct 1;2(5):343-52

Blackwell. E. and Ceman, S. 2011. Novel regulatory function of region proximal to RGG box in Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein. J. Cell Science. 124: 3060-3065.

Ceman, S. and Saugstad, J. 2011. MicroRNAs: Meta-controllers of gene expression in synaptic activity emerge as genetic and diagnostic markers of human disease. Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 130(1): 26-37.

Cheever, A., Blackwell, E., Ceman, S. 2010. Fragile X protein family member FXR1P is regulated by microRNAs. RNA.18 (8): 1530-1539

Blackwell, E. , Zhang, X. and Ceman, S. 2010. Arginines of the RGG box regulate FMRP association with polyribosomes and mRNA. Hum. Mol. Gen.. 19(7): 1314-1323. PMC2838539.

Cheever, A. and Ceman. S. 2009. Phosphorylation of FMRP inhibits association with Dicer.  RNA. 15(3): 362-366.

Recent Publications

Lannom, M. C., Nielsen, J., Nawaz, A., Shilikbay, T., & Ceman, S. (2021). FMRP and MOV10 regulate Dicer1 expression and dendrite development. PloS one, 16(11 November), [e0260005].

Nawaz, A., Shilikbay, T., Skariah, G., & Ceman, S. (Accepted/In press). Unwinding the roles of RNA helicase MOV10. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA, 13(2), [e1682].

Kenny, P. J., Kim, M., Skariah, G., Nielsen, J., Lannom, M. C., & Ceman, S. (2020). The FMRP-MOV10 complex: A translational regulatory switch modulated by G-Quadruplexes. Nucleic acids research, 48(2), 862-878.

DeThorne, L. S., & Ceman, S. (2018). Genetic testing and autism: Tutorial for communication sciences and disorders. Journal of Communication Disorders, 74, 61-73.

Lannom, M. C., & Ceman, S. (2018). FMRP and microRNAs in neuronal protein synthesis. In The Oxford Handbook of Neuronal Protein Synthesis (pp. 217-238). Oxford University Press.

View all publications on Illinois Experts

In the news

  • A study led by Dr. Geena Skariah, a recent Neuroscience graduate of the Ceman lab in Cell and Developmental Biology, and current postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan, revealed the importance of the protein Mov10 (Moloney leukemia virus 10) in neurological development in animals....
  • The infinitely complex workings of the human brain have intrigued researchers for centuries. Our understanding of its workings have been limited, not by our curiosity, but by our tools. Now, with the growth of new molecular biology and genomics approaches, big data, and engineering advances that...