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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Faculty & Staff Directory

Dr. Amanda Charlesworth

Assistant Professor

Office Location: SI 4106
Phone: (303) 556-2854
Fax: (303) 556-4352
2015 Spring Semester Office Hours:


Areas of Expertise:
Molecular and Cellular Developmental Biology

Education & Degrees 

Ph.D., Cell Biology, University College London and Imperial Cancer

B.Sc., Biochemistry, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK




Before joining the Department of Integrative Biology at UCD, Dr. Charlesworth was Research Associate Professor at the Center for Translational Neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, where she ran the Molecular Biology Core facility. Before that she was a Research Assistant Professor where she integrated cell signaling with mRNA translation during meiosis. Currently she is focusing on novel mRNA translation mechanisms during early development.

Cell cycle progression in early development is regulated by translational control of maternal mRNAs. It is crucial that the timing of translation of key maternal mRNAs that encode cell cycle factors is properly coordinated. Dr. Charlesworth is interested in how maternal mRNAs are recruited for translation at different times during oocyte maturation, fertilization and embryogenesis.

Wee1 is a cell cycle inhibitor and is thought to be important for the first mitotic cell cycle of the embryo. The maternal Wee1 mRNA contains elements to which proteins bind. Dr. Charlesworth is characterizing these RNA:protein interactions in oocytes of the African clawed toad, Xenopus laevis, to determine how they might regulate the expression of Wee1 and early development.

Select Publications 


Yamamoto, TM., Cook, JM., Kotter, CV., Khat, T., Silva, KD, Ferreyros, M., Holt, JW., Knight, JD., Charlesworth, A.  Zar1 represses translation in Xenopus oocytes and binds to the TCS in maternal mRNAs with different characteristics than Zar2.  (2013) Biochimica et biophysica acta, 1829: 1034-1046


A., Yamamoto TM, Cook JM, Silva KD, Kotter CV, Carter GS, Holt JW, Lavender HF, MacNicol AM, Wang YY, Wilczynska A. (2012) Xenopus laevis Zygote arrest 2 (zar2) encodes a zinc finger RNA-binding protein that binds to the Translational Control Sequence in the maternal Wee1 mRNA and regulates translation. Dev. Biol., 369:177-190


Wang, Y., Charlesworth, A., Byrd, S., Gregerson, R., MacNicol, M.C., MacNicol, A.M., "A novel mRNA 3' untranslated region translational control sequence regulates Xenopus weel mRNA translation". (2008) Dev.Biol. 317: 454-466


Charlesworth, A., Wilczynska, A., Thampi, P., Cox, L.L. and MacNicol, A.M. "Musashi regulates the temporal order of mRNA translation during Xenopus oocyte maturation." (2006) EMBO J. 25: 2792-2801


Charlesworth A., Cox L. L. and MacNicol A.M. "Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Element (CPE)- and CPE-binding Protein (CPEB)-independent Mechanisms Regulate Early Class Maternal mRNA Translational Activation in Xenopus Oocytes." (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279: 17650-17659


Charlesworth A., Ridge J.A., King L.A., MacNicol M.C. and MacNicol A.M. "MAP kinase signalling and the temporal control of Mos mRNA translation." (2002) EMBO J. 21: 2798-2806.


Tedford K., Nitschke L., Girkontaite I., Charlesworth A., Chan G, Sakk V., Barbacid M. and Fischer K.D. (2001). "Compensation between Vav-1 and Vav-2 in B cell development and antigen receptor signaling." Nat Immunol. 2: 548-555.


Charlesworth A., Welk J. and MacNicol A.M. (2000). "The temporal control of Wee1 mRNA translation during Xenopus oocyte maturation is regulated by cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements within the 3’ untranslated region." Dev. Bio. 227: 706-719.


Howard E.L., Charlesworth A., Welk J. and MacNicol A.M. (1999). "The MAP kinase signaling pathway stimulates Mos mRNA cytoplasmic polyadenylation during Xenopus oocyte maturation." Mol. Cell. Biol. 19: 1990-1999.


Charlesworth A. and Rozengurt E. (1997). "Bombesin and neuromedin B stimulate the activation of p42mapk and p74raf-1 via a PKC-independent pathway in Rat-1 cells." Oncogene 14: 2323 – 2329.


Charlesworth A. and Rozengurt E. (1994). "Thapsigargin and di-tert-butylhydroquinone induce synergistic stimulation of DNA synthesis with phorbol ester and bombesin in Swiss 3T3 cells." J. Biol. Chem. 269: 32528 – 32535.


McAllister G., Charlesworth A., Snodin C., Beer M.S., Noble A.J., Middlemiss D.N., Iversen L.L. and Whiting P. (1992). "Molecular cloning of a serotonin receptor from human brain (5HT1E): A fifth 5HT1-like subtype." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89: 5517- 5521.



Courses Taught 

BIOL 4068/5068 The Cell Cycle

BIOL 4050/5050 Topics in Developmental Biology

BIOL 3611: General Cell Bio