Microbiology  http://www.gbs.uab.edu  http://www.uab.edu/graduate  Back to Main

Faculty Detail    
Associate Professor
Campus Address BBRB 466 Zip 2170
Phone  (205) 996-7101
E-mail  sunnie@uab.edu
Other websites Thompson

Undergraduate  Oklahoma State University    1991  B.S. 
Graduate  University of Wisconsin-Madison    1998  Ph.D. 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Associate Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Professor
Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Associate Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Associate Professor
Primary  Microbiology  Microbiology Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Integrative Genetics Graduate Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Sunnie R. Thompson began her research career in the laboratories of Olin Spivey and Ulrich Melcher in the department of Biochemistry at Oklahoma State University where she completed her undergraduate studies (B.S. with honors). She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her graduate advisor and mentor was Marvin Wickens. She moved to California for a postdoctoral fellowship in Peter Sarnow's laboratory at Stanford University where she studied translation initiation of viral internal ribosome entry sites. Dr. Thompson joined the Department of Microbiology at UAB in July 2005.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Association for Cancer Research    http://www.aacr.org/ 
RNA Society    http://rnasociety.org/ 

Research/Clinical Interest
Viral host pathogen interactions
Dr. Thompson’s research interests focus on general mechanisms of host – virus interactions. They study a range of virus from single-stranded RNA viruses to double-stranded DNA virus, with the central theme of understanding how viruses require and manipulate host pathways for viral production. They are particularly interested in dissecting the molecular mechanisms that lead to a better understanding of the host factors or pathways required by the virus with the ultimate goal of identifying host targets for antivirals. They use molecular, cell biology, biochemical, genetic, mass spectrometry, and next-generation sequencing approaches to address these questions. More recently their research has used single-cell analysis and proteomics to understand how a DNA tumor virus, BK polyomavirus promotes cell cycle entry and arrest to maintain an S phase environment for viral replication. Their research has focused on three main questions: 1) Understanding how viruses usurp the translation machinery, 2) identifying host factors and understanding their role in viral production, and 3) understanding how viruses manipulate the cell cycle for viral production. Viruses studied in the Thompson lab include: enteroviruses (polio, EV-D68, EV-A71), coronaviruses (OC43), flaviviruses (Dengue, yellow fever virus, Zika), and polyomaviruses (BK polyomavirus).

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Thompson, S. R. and Sarnow, P. (2000). Regulation of host cell translation by viruses and effects on cell function. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 3, 366-70.  10972496 
Thompson, S. R., Gulyas, K. D., and Sarnow, P. (2001) Internal initiation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mediated by an initiator tRNA/eIF2-independent internal ribosome entry site element. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 98, 12972-7. (Commentary: Hinnenbusch, A. G. Unleashing yeast genetics on a factor-independent mechanism of internal translation initiation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 12866-8.)  11687653 
Jan, E., Thompson, S. R., Wilson, J. E., Pestova, T. V., Hellen, C. U., and Sarnow, P. (2001). Initiator Met-tRNA-independent translation mediated by an internal ribosome entry site element in cricket paralysis virus-like insect viruses. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 66, 285-92.  12762030 
Thompson, S. R. and Sarnow, P. (2003) Enterovirus 71 contains a type I IRES element that functions when eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4G is cleaved. Virology 315, 259-66.  14592777 
Yeo, H., Beck, L. H., Thompson, S. R., Farach-Carson, M.C., McDonald, J. M., Clemens, T. L., and Zayzafoon, M. (2007). Conditional dysruption of calcineurin B1 in osteoblasts increases bone formation and reduces bone resorption. JBC. 282, 35318-27.  17884821 
Fan-Minogue H., Du M., Pisarev A. V., Kallmeyer A. K., Salas-Marco J., Keeling K. M., Thompson S. R., Pestova T. V., Bedwell D. M. (2008). Distinct eRF3 requirements suggest alternate eRF1 conformations mediate peptide release during eukaryotic translation termination. Mol Cell 30, 599-609.  18538658 
Deniz, N., Lenarcic, E. M., Landry, D. M., and Thompson, S. R. (2009). Translation initiation factors are not required for Dicistroviridae IRES function in vivo. RNA. 15, 932-946.  19299549 
Landry, D. M., Hertz, M. I., and Thompson, S. R. (2009). RPS25 is essential for translation initiation by a viral internal ribosome entry site. Genes & Development. 23, 2753-2764.  19952110 
Hertz, M. I. and Thompson, S. R. (2011). Mechanism of translation initiation by Dicistroviridae IGR IRESs. Virology 411, 355-361.  21284991 
Hertz, M. I. and Thompson, S. R. (2011). In Vivo Functional analysis of the Dicistroviridae intergenic region IRESs. Nucleic Acids Research 39, 7276-88.  21646337 
Jack, K., Bellodi, C., Landry, D.M., Niederer, R., Meskauskas, A., Musalgaonkar, S., Kopmar, N., Krasnykh, O., Dean, A.D., Thompson, S.R., Ruggero, D., and Dinman, J. D. (2011). rRNA Pseudouridylation Defects Affect Ribosomal Ligand Binding and Translational Fidelity from Yeast to Human Cells. Mol Cell 44, 660-666.  22099312 
Thompson SR. (2012). So you want to know if your message has an IRES? Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. DOI: 10.1002/wrna.1129.   22733589 
Thompson SR. (2012). Tricks an IRES uses to enslave ribosomes. Trends in Microbiology. 20(11):558-66.  22944245 
Lenarcic EM, Landry DM, Greco TM, Cristea IM, Thompson SR. Thiouracil cross-linking mass spectrometry: a cell-based method to identify host factors involved in viral amplification. J Virol. 2013;87(15):8697-712.  23740976 
Olivares, E., Landry, D.M., Caceres, C.J., Pino, K., Rossi, F., Navarrete, C., Huidobro-Toro, J.P., Thompson, S.R., and Lopez-Lastra, M. (2014). The 5' untranslated region of the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 mRNA enables cap-independent translation initiation. J Virol 88, 5936-5955.  24623421 
Lu L, Zheng L, Si Y, Luo W, Dujardin G, Kwan T, Potochick NR, Thompson SR, Schneider DA, and King PH. (2014). Hu Antigen R (HuR) Is a Positive Regulator of the RNA-binding Proteins TDP-43 and FUS/TLS: Implications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Biol Chem. 289(46):31792-804.  25239623 
Carvajal F, Vallejos M, Walters B, Contreras N, Hertz MI, Olivares E, Caceres CJ, Pino K, Letelier A, Thompson SR, Lopez-Lastra M. (2016) Structural domains within the HIV-1 mRNA and the ribosomal protein S25 influence cap-independent translation initiation. The FEBS journal. 283(13):2508-27.   27191820 
Viktorovskaya OV, Greco TM, Cristea IM, Thompson SR. (2016) Identification of RNA Binding Proteins Associated with Dengue Virus RNA in Infected Cells Reveals Temporally Distinct Host Factor Requirements. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 10(8):e0004921.   27556644 
Stern-Ginossar N, Thompson SR, Mathews MB, Mohr I. Translational Control in Virus-Infected Cells. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2019 01;11(3).  29891561 
Kwan T, Thompson SR. Noncanonical Translation Initiation in Eukaryotes. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2019 01;11(4).   29959190 
Caceres CJ, Angulo J, Lowy F, Contreras N, Walters B, Olivares E, Allouche D, Merviel A, Pino K, Sargueil B, Thompson SR, Lopez-Lastra M. Non-canonical translation initiation of the spliced mRNA encoding the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 basic leucine zipper protein. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018;46(20):11030-47. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky802.  30215750 
Justice JL, Needham JM, Thompson SR. BK Polyomavirus Activates the DNA Damage Response to Prolong S Phase. J Virol. 2019 15;93(14).  31043526 
Walters B, Axhemi A, Jankowsky E, Thompson SR. Binding of a viral IRES to the 40S subunit occurs in two successive steps mediated by eS25. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Aug 20;48(14):8063–8073.  32609821 
Hertz MI, Landry DM, Willis AE, Luo G, Thompson SR. (2013) Ribosomal protein S25 dependency reveals a common mechanism for diverse internal ribosome entry sites and ribosome shunting. Mol Cell Biol. 33(5):1016-26.   3623076 

Host pathogen interactions, Mechanisms of viral translation, IRES, Polyomaviruses, Coronaviruses, Enteroviruses, Flaviviruses, Ribosome, Translational mechanisms in Cancer