Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sanja Roje

Ph.D. 1998, Florida State University, Tallahassee
Sanja Roje
Associate Professor, IBC 509-371-3008 Plant Sciences Building 381 1772 NE Stadium Way

Research Interests

  1. Elucidation of the missing steps and regulation of the flavin biosynthetic pathway in plants. Flavin cofactors FMN and FAD are required by proteins participating in a wide variety of essential metabolic processes. Investigating enzymes needed for biosynthesis of these cofactors, as well as genes and gene products involved in the regulation of the biosynthetic pathway is one of the major current focus areas for the laboratory. We have already identified and characterized several enzymes involved in the interconversions of riboflavin, FMN and FAD and in biosynthesis of riboflavin, and are continuing this work with the aim to build a complete map of flavin nucleotide metabolism in plants. We have also identified a small set of long noncoding RNAs that may be involved in regulation of the pathway, and are investigating the physiological roles of these RNAs and their mode of action. In collaboration with Dr. Hanjo Hellmann (Plant Physiologist, School of Biological Sciences at WSU), we are exploring flavin involvement in plant stress responses.
  2. Metabolism of tetrahydrofolate-bound one-carbon units in plants. One-carbon units passing through the folate pathway ultimately end up in a wide variety of molecules including proteins, DNA, RNA, and numerous methylated secondary metabolites. We are investigating enzymes required to ensure uninterrupted supply of these units from the amino acid serine (serine hydroxymethyltransferase) and from formate (formate-tetrahydrofolate ligase), and are studying how these enzymes serve to link the one-carbon network with photorespiration.
  3. Flavins in α-proteobacteria. We are currently studying enzymes involved in flavin biosynthesis in the legume symbiont Sinorhizobium melilotiand in the mammalian intracellular pathogen Brucella abortus. We are also interested in finding out whether secreted flavins play important roles in the Medicago – S. meliloti symbiosis. This project is done in collaboration with Dr. Svetlana Yurgel (USDA), a microbial geneticist.


ORCID Account

Google Scholar Account