Rebecca Hurto

Senior Research Lab Specialist

Department of Biological Chemistry


Rebecca Hurto


Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0600


Ph. D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 2006

BA in Chemistry and Biology, Central College, 2000

Research Interests

My current research is focused on three separate projects where I am applying methods for transcription profiling and measurement of transcriptional regulatory states to better understand the molecular logic of how cells respond to stress. The goal of the first project is to determine how the transcriptional terminator, Rho, alters the cellular responses of E.coli to antibiotics at the DNA/transcriptional level. To accomplish this goal, I am utilizing IPOD, footprinting, and RNA-seq techniques. In a collaborative second project, the focus is to describe the c-di-GMP-dependent regulatory network impact on transcription in V. cholerae. The third project is a collaboration to take a comprehensive and synchronized approach to study the dimorphic transition of yeast from budding to pseudohyphal growth in response to butanol stress. As I work on these projects, I have been optimizing the original IPOD technique and modifying it to work with new organisms.

Professional History

 2015 to Present: Postdoctoral researcher

Freddolino Lab, Biological Chemistry Department, University of Michigan

2006 to 2014: Postdoctoral researcher

Ohio State University

1999: Undergraduate chemistry researcher

Central College


Hurto RL and Hopper AK. De novo amino acid biosynthesis influences starvation-induced changes in tRNA distribution (in preparation)

Hurto RL and Hopper AK. P-body components, Dhh1 and Pat1, are involved in tRNA nuclear-cytoplasmic dynamics. RNA. 2011 May;17(5):912-24 24 (journal highlighted article)

Hurto R. Unexpected functions of tRNA and tRNA processing enzymes. In: RNA Infrastructure and Networks, Collins, L., ed. Austin/New York: Landes Bioscience/Springer, 2011 pp. 137-155 (peer-evaluated review)

Whitney ML, Hurto RL, Shaheen HH, Hopper AK. Rapid and reversible nuclear accumulation of cytoplasmic tRNA in response to nutrient availability. Mol Biol Cell. 2007 Jul;18(7):2678-86.

Hurto RL, Tong AH, Boone C, Hopper AK. Inorganic phosphate deprivation causes tRNA nuclear accumulation via retrograde transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics. 2007 Jun;176(2):841-52 (journal highlighted article and cover image)

Gu W, Hurto RL, Hopper AK, Grayhack EJ, Phizicky EM. Depletion of Saccharomyces cerevisiae tRNA(His) guanylyltransferase Thg1p leads to uncharged tRNAHis with additional m(5)C. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Sep;25(18):8191-201.

Stanford DR, Whitney ML, Hurto RL, Eisaman DM, Shen WC, Hopper AK. Division of labor among the yeast Sol proteins implicated in tRNA nuclear export and carbohydrate metabolism. Genetics. 2004 Sep;168(1):117-27.

Fellowships and Awards

Best oral presentation, Rustbelt RNA Meeting, 2006

American Heart Association Pre-doctoral Fellowship, 2002 to 2004