Christopher Lee Holley
Associate Professor of Medicine

The Holley Laboratory is focused on the role of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) in cardiovascular health and disease, with a special emphasis on snoRNA (small nucleolar RNA).  snoRNAs are canonically known to guide the chemical modification of other RNAs, with ribosomal RNA being the primary target.  Dr. Holley’s research has helped to uncover a novel biologic role for the Rpl13a snoRNAs in the regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress.  These four snoRNAs (U32a, U33, U34, and U35a) have a critical role in the oxidative stress response to a variety of stimuli, including saturated fatty acids, lipopolysaccharide, doxorubicin, and hydrogen peroxide.  The role of these snoRNAs in cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, aortic stenosis, and heart failure is an active area of research.

Most recently, Dr. Holley’s work has shown that snoRNAs are themselves regulated by ROS and oxidative stress, with dynamic accumulation of snoRNAs in the cytoplasm in response to oxidative stress.  This raises the possibility that snoRNAs, which were thought to be exclusively nuclear, may also have cytoplasmic targets that mediate their novel biologic roles.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 203 Research Drive, Msrb1 Rm 321, Durham, NC 27710
  • DUMC Box 2647, 2301 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27710
  • uri icon Holley Laboratory

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