Peter Sarnow, Ph.D.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Stanford University
Fairchild Research Building, D309b
299 Campus Drive
Stanford, CA 94305-5124

Tel: (650) 498-7076
Fax: (650) 498-7147


M.S., University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany, 1979
Ph.D., (Microbiology), SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA, 1982


1979-1982: Dissertation Research with Arnold J. Levine, SUNY at Stony Brook,
Stony Brook, NY.
1982-1986: Postdoctoral research with David Baltimore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA.
1986-1991: Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology. Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Genetics. University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver, CO.
1991-1996: Associate Professor of Molecular Biology. Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Genetics. University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO.
1996-1999: Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA.
1999-present: Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA.


Professional Honors and Recognition
• Predoctoral Fellowship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes
• Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
• Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society, 1992-1997
• The Sidney and Skippy Frank Prize /Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University, 2006


Professional activities outside of Stanford
• Editor, Virology
• Editorial Board, Genes and Development
• Editorial Board, Journal of Virology
• Editorial Board, Molecular and Cellular Biology
• Editorial Board, Gene Expression
• Permanent member of the Immunology, Virology and Pathology Study Section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 1993-1996
• Permanent member of the Experimental Virology Study Section, 1999-2003

Sarnow P, Rasched I, Knippers R. (1981) A histone H4-specific methyltransferase. Properties, specificity and effects on nucleosomal histones. Biochim Biophys Acta. 655: 349-358. [Link]

Nicolas JC, Ingrand D, Sarnow P, Levine AJ. (1982) A mutation in the adenovirus type 5 DNA binding protein that fails to autoregulate the production of the DNA binding protein. Virology. 122: 481-485. [Link]

Sarnow P, Ho YS, Williams J, Levine AJ. (1982) Adenovirus E1b-58kd tumor antigen and SV40 large tumor antigen are physically associated with the same 54 kd cellular protein in transformed cells. Cell. 28: 387-394. [Link]

Sarnow P, Hearing P, Anderson CW, Reich N, Levine AJ. (1982) Identification and characterization of an immunologically conserved adenovirus early region 11,000 Mr protein and its association with the nuclear matrix. J. Mol. Biol. 162: 565-583. [Link]

Sarnow P, Sullivan CA, Levine AJ. (1982) A monoclonal antibody detecting the adenovirus type 5-E1b-58Kd tumor antigen: characterization of the E1b-58Kd tumor antigen in adenovirus-infected and -transformed cells. Virology.120: 510-517. [Link]

Nicolas JC, Sarnow P, Girard M, Levine AJ. (1983) Host range temperature-conditional mutants in the adenovirus DNA binding protein are defective in the assembly of infectious virus. Virology. 126: 228-239. [Link]

Reich NC, Sarnow P, Duprey E, Levine AJ. (1983) Monoclonal antibodies which recognize native and denatured forms of the adenovirus DNA-binding protein. Virology. 128: 480-484. [Link]

Nowak B, Gmeiner A, Sarnow P, Levine AJ, Fleckenstein B. (1984) Physical mapping of human cytomegalovirus genes: identification of DNA sequences coding for a virion phosphoprotein of 71 kDa and a viral 65-kDa polypeptide. Virology. 134: 91-102. [Link]

Nowak B, Sullivan C, Sarnow P, Thomas R, Bricout F, Nicolas JC, Fleckenstein B, Levine AJ. (1984) Characterization of monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal immune sera directed against human cytomegalovirus virion proteins. Virology. 132: 325-338. [Link]

Sarnow P, Hearing P, Anderson CW, Halbert DN, Shenk T, Levine AJ. (1984) Adenovirus early region 1B 58,000-dalton tumor antigen is physically associated with an early region 4 25,000-dalton protein in productively infected cells. J. Virol. 49: 692-700. [Link]

Sarnow P, Bernstein HD, Baltimore D. (1986) A poliovirus temperature-sensitive RNA synthesis mutant located in a noncoding region of the genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 83: 571-575. [Link]

Bernstein HD, Sarnow P, Baltimore D. (1986) Genetic complementation among poliovirus mutants derived from an infectious cDNA clone. J. Virol.60: 1040-1049. [Link]

Sarnow P. (1989) Role of 3'-end sequences in infectivity of poliovirus transcripts made in vitro. J. Virol. 63: 467-470. [Link]

Sarnow P. (1989) Translation of glucose-regulated protein 78/immunoglobulin heavy-chain bindingprotein mRNA is increased in poliovirus-infected cells at a time when cap-dependent translation of cellular mRNAs is inhibited. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 86: 5795-5799. [Link]

Macejak DG, Sarnow P. (1990) Translational regulation of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein mRNA. Enzyme. 44: 310-319. [Link]

Najita L, Sarnow P. (1990) Oxidation-reduction sensitive interaction of a cellular 50-kDa protein with an RNA hairpin in the 5' noncoding region of the poliovirus genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 87: 5846-5850. [Link]

Sarnow P, Jacobson SJ, Najita L. (1990) Poliovirus genetics. Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 161: 155-188. [Link]

Hambidge SJ, Sarnow P. (1991) Terminal 7-methyl-guanosine cap structure on the normally uncapped 5' noncoding region of poliovirus mRNA inhibits its translation in mammalian cells. J. Virol. 65: 6312-6315. [Link]

Johnson KL, Sarnow P. (1991) Three poliovirus 2B mutants exhibit noncomplementable defects in viral RNA amplification and display dosage-dependent dominance over wild-type poliovirus. J. Virol. 65:4341-4349. [Link]

Macejak DG, Sarnow P. (1991) Internal initiation of translation mediated by the 5' leader of a cellular mRNA. Nature 353: 90-94. This paper was accompanied by a News and Views comment by Richard J. Jackson. Initiation without an end. Nature 353:14-15. [Link]

Simoes EA, Sarnow P. (1991) An RNA hairpin at the extreme 5' end of the poliovirus RNA genome modulates viral translation in human cells. J. Virol. 65: 913-921. [Link]

Hambidge SJ, Sarnow P. (1992) Translational enhancement of the poliovirus 5' noncoding region mediated by virus-encoded polypeptide 2A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S. A. 89: 10272-10276. [Link]

Macejak DG, Sarnow P. (1992) Association of heat shock protein 70 with enterovirus capsid precursor P1 in infected human cells. J. Virol. 66: 1520-1527. [Link]

Oh SK, Scott MP, Sarnow P. (1992) Homeotic gene Antennapedia mRNA contains 5’-noncoding sequences that confer translational initiation by internal ribosome binding. Genes Dev. 6: 1643-1653. [Link]

Jacobson SJ, Konings DA, Sarnow P. (1993) Biochemical and genetic evidence for a pseudoknot structure at the 3’ terminus of the poliovirus genome and its role in RNA replication. J. Virol. 67: 2961-2971. [Link]

McBratney S, Chen CY, Sarnow P. (1993) Internal initiation of translation. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 5:961-965. [Link]

Oh SK, Sarnow P. (1993) Gene regulation: translational initiation by internal ribosome binding. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 3: 295-300. [Link]

Wang C, Sarnow P, Siddiqui A. (1993) Translation of human hepatitis C virus RNA in cultured cells is mediated by an internal ribosome-binding mechanism. J. Virol. 67: 3338-3344. [Link]

Iizuka N, Najita L, Franzusoff A, Sarnow P. (1994) Cap-dependent and cap-independent translation by internal initiation of mRNAs in cell extracts prepared from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol. Cell Biol. 14: 7322-7330. [Link]

Wang C, Sarnow P, Siddiqui A. (1994) A conserved helical element is essential for internal initation of hepatitis C virus RNA. J. Virol. 68: 7301-7307. [Link]

Chen C, Sarnow P. (1995) Initiation of protein synthesis by the eukaryotic translational apparatus on circular RNAs. Science 268: 415-417. [Link]

Iizuka N, Chen C, Yang Q, Johannes G, Sarnow P. (1995) Cap-independent translation and internal initiation of translation in eukaryotic cellular mRNA molecules. Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 203: 155-177. [Link]

McBratney S, Sarnow P. (1996) Evidence for involvement of trans-acting factors in selection of the AUG start codon during eukaryotic translational initiation. Mol. Cell Biol. 16: 3523-3534. [Link]

Haller A, Sarnow P. (1997) In vitro selection of a 7-methyl guanosine binding RNA that inhibits translation of capped mRNA molecules. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94: 8521-8526. [Link]

Iizuka N, Sarnow P. (1997) Translation-competent extracts from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: effects of L-A RNA, 5' cap, and 3' poly(A) tail on translational efficiency of mRNAs. Methods. 11: 353-360. [Link]

Sachs AB, Sarnow P, Hentze MW. (1997) Starting at the beginning, middle, and end: translation initiation in eukaryotes. Cell. 89: 831-838. [Link]

Yang Q, Sarnow P. (1997) Location of the internal ribosome entry site in the 5’ non-coding region of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein (BiP) mRNA: evidence for specific RNA-protein interactions. Nucl. Acids Res. 25: 2800-2807. [Link]

Chen CY, Sarnow P. (1998) Internal ribosome entry sites tested with circular mRNAs. Methods Mol. Biol. 77: 355-363. [Link]

Johannes G, Sarnow P. (1998) Cap-independent polysomal association of natural mRNAs encoding c-myc, BiP and eIF4G conferred by internal ribosome entry sites. RNA 4: 1500-1513. [Link]

Waggoner S, Sarnow P. (1998) Viral ribonucleoprotein complex formation and nucleolar-cytoplasmic relocalization of nucleolin in poliovirus-infected cells. J. Virol. 72: 6699-6709. [Link]

Johannes G, Carter MS, Eisen MB, Brown PO, Sarnow P. (1999) Identification of eukaryotic mRNAs that are translated at reduced cap binding complex eIF4F concentrations using a cDNA microarray. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96: 13118-13123. [Link]

Nugent CI, Johnson KL, Sarnow P, Kirkegaard K. (1999) Functional coupling between replication and packaging of poliovirus replicon RNA. J. Virol. 73: 417-435. [Link]

Carter MS, Sarnow P. (2000) Distinct mRNAs that encode La autoantigen are differentially expressed and contain internal ribosome entry sites. J. Biol. Chem. 275: 28301-28307. [Link]

Lukavsky PJ, Otto GA, Lancaster AM, Sarnow P, Puglisi JD. (2000) Structures of two essential RNA domains for Hepatitis C virus internal ribosome entry site function. Nat. Struct. Bio. 7: 1105-1110. [Link]

Thompson SR, Sarnow P. (2000) Regulation of host cell translation by viruses and effects on cell function. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 3: 366-370. [Link]

Wilson JE, Powell MJ, Hoover SE, Sarnow P. (2000) Natural occurring dicistronic cricket paralysis virus RNA is regulated by two internal ribosome entry sites. Mol. Cell. Biol. 20: 4490-4499. [Link]

Wilson JE, Pestova TV, Hellen CUT, Sarnow P. (2000) Initiation of protein synthesisfrom the A site of the ribosome. Cell 102: 511-520. [Link]

Gustin KE, Sarnow P. (2001) Effects of poliovirus infection on nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking and nuclear pore complex composition. EMBO J. 20: 240-249. [Link]

Hellen CU, Sarnow P. (2001) Internal ribosome entry sites in eukaryotic mRNA molecules. Genes Dev. 15: 1593-1612. [Link]

Jan E, Thompson SR, Wilson JE, Pestova TV, Hellen CU, 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 Harb Symp Quant Biol. 66: 285-292. [Link]

Kuhn KM, DeRisi JL, Brown PO, Sarnow P. (2001) Global and specific transcriptional regulation in the genomic response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to a rapid transfer from a fermentable to a nonfermentable carbon source. Mol. Cell Biol. 21: 916-927. [Link]

Puglisi JD, Kim I, Lukavsky P, Otto G, Lancaster A, Sarnow P. (2001) Structural and functional investigation of the hepatitis C virus IRES. Nucleic Acids Res Suppl. 1:263. [Link]

Schneider R, Agol VI, Andino R, Bayard F, Cavener DR, Chappell SA, Chen JJ, Darlix JL, Dasgupta A, Donzé O, Duncan R, Elroy-Stein O, Farabaugh PJ, Filipowicz W, Gale M Jr, Gehrke L, Goldman E, Groner Y, Harford JB, Hatzglou M, He B, Hellen CU, Hentze MW, Hershey J, Hershey P, Hohn T, Holcik M, Hunter CP, Igarashi K, Jackson R, Jagus R, Jefferson LS, Joshi B, Kaempfer R, Katze M, Kaufman RJ, Kiledjian M, Kimball SR, Kimchi A, Kirkegaard K, Koromilas AE, Krug RM, Kruys V, Lamphear BJ, Lemon S, Lloyd RE, Maquat LE, Martinez-Salas E, Mathews MB, Mauro VP, Miyamoto S, Mohr I, Morris DR, Moss EG, Nakashima N, Palmenberg A, Parkin NT, Pe'ery T, Pelletier J, Peltz S, Pestova TV, Pilipenko EV, Prats AC, Racaniello V, Read GS, Rhoads RE, Richter JD, Rivera-Pomar R, Rouault T, Sachs A, Sarnow P, Scheper GC, Schiff L, Schoenberg DR, Semler BL, Siddiqui A, Skern T, Sonenberg N, Tahara SM, Thomas AA, Toulmé JJ, Wilusz J, Wimmer E, Witherell G, Wormington M. (2001) New ways of initiating translation in eukaryotes. Mol Cell Biol. 21: 8238-8246. [Link]

Thompson SR, Gulyas KD, 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: 12972-12977. [Link]

Bushell M, Sarnow P. (2002) Hijacking the translation apparatus by RNA viruses. J Cell Biol. 158: 395-399. [Link]

Fernandez JM, Yaman I, Sarnow P, Snider MD, Hatzoglou M. (2002) Regulation of internal ribosomal entry site-mediated translation by phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 19198-19205. [Link]

Gustin KE, Sarnow P. (2002) Inhibition of nuclear import and alteration of nuclear pore complex composition by rhinovirus. J. Virol. 76: 8787-8796. [Link]

Jan E, Sarnow P. (2002) Factorless ribosome assembly on the internal ribosome entry site of cricket paralysis virus. J. Mol. Biol. 324: 889-902. [Link]

Kong LK, Sarnow P. (2002) Cytoplasmic expression of mRNAs containing the internal ribosome entry site and 3’ noncoding region of Hepatitis C Virus: Effects of the 3’ leader on mRNA translation and mRNA stability. J. Virol. 76: 12457-12462. [Link]

McCaffrey AP, Ohashi K, Meuse L, Shen S, Lancaster AM, Lukavsky PJ, Sarnow P, Kay MA. (2002) Determinants of hepatitis C translational initiation in vitro, in cultured cells, and in mice. Mol. Therapy 5: 676-684. [Link]

Otto GA, Lukavsky PJ, Lancaster AM, Sarnow P, Puglisi J.D. (2002) Ribosomal proteins mediate the hepatitis C virus IRES-HeLa 40S interaction. RNA 8: 913-923. [Link]

Jan E, Kinzy TG, Sarnow P. (2003) Divergent tRNA-like element supports initiation, elongation and termination of protein biosynthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100: 15410-15415. [Link]

Sarnow P. (2003) Viral internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements: novel ribosome-RNA complexes and roles in pathogenesis. J. Virol. 77: 2801-2806. [Link]

Thompson SR, Sarnow P. (2003) Enterovirus 71 contains a type I IRES element that functions when eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4G is cleaved. Virology 315: 259-266. [Link]

Bushell M, Stoneley M, Sarnow P., Willis AE. (2004) Translation inhibition during the induction of apoptosis: RNA or protein degradation. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 32: 606-610. [Link]

Graham KL, Gustin KE, Rivera C, Kuyumcu-Martinez NM, Choe SS, Lloyd RE, Sarnow P, Utz PJ. (2004) Proteolytic cleavage of the catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinase during Poliovirus infection. J. Virol. 78: 6313-6321.610. [Link]

Qin X, Sarnow P. (2004) Preferential translation of IRES-containing mRNAs during the mitotic cycle in mammalian cells. J. Biol. Chem. 279: 13721-13728. [Link]

Spahn CMT, Jan E, Mulder A, Grassucci A, Sarnow P, Frank J. (2004) Cryo-EM visualization of a viral internal ribosome entry site bound to human 40S and 80S ribosomes: the IRES functions as an RNA-based translation factor. Cell. 118: 465-475. [Link]

Cevallos RC, Sarnow P. (2005) Factor-independent assembly of elongation-competent ribosomes by an internal ribosome entry site located in an RNA virus that infects penaeid shrimp. J. Virol. 79: 677-683. [Link]

Cherry S, Doukas T, Armknecht S, Wang H, Sarnow P, Perrimon N. (2005) Genome-wide RNAi screen reveals a specific sensitivity of IRES-containing RNA viruses to host translation inhibition. Genes Dev. 19: 445-452. [Link]

Jopling CL, Yi M, Lancaster AM, Lemon SM, Sarnow P. (2005) Modulation of Hepatitis C virus RNA abundance by a liver-specific microRNA. Science 309: 1577-1581. [Link]

Sarnow P, Cevallos RC, Jan E. (2005) Takeover of host ribosomes by divergent IRES elements. Biochem Soc Trans. 33: 1479-1482. [Link]

Bushell M, Stoneley M, Kong YW, Hamilton TL, Spriggs KA, Dobbyn HC, Qin X, Sarnow P, Willis AE. (2006) Polypyrimidine tract binding protein regulates IRES-mediated gene expression during apoptosis. Mol. Cell. 23: 401-412. [Link]

Doudna JA, Sarnow P. (2006) Translation initiation by viral internal ribosome enrty sites. In “Translational Control in Biology and Medicine”; Hershey J.W.H., Mathews M.B. and Sonenberg N., eds. CSH Press, NY. p297-318.

Gustin KE, Sarnow P. (2006) Positive-stranded RNA viruses and the nucleus. In “Viruses and the Nucleus”. Wiley and Sons. Hiscox, J.A. (editor). p161-184.

Jopling CL, Norman KL, Sarnow P. (2006) Positive and negative modulation of viral and cellular mRNAs by liver-specific microRNA miR-122. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 71: 369-76. [Link]

Lancaster AM, Jan E, Sarnow P. (2006) Initiation factor-independent translation mediated by the hepatitis C virus internal ribosome entry site. RNA 12: 894-902. [Link]

Sarnow P, Jopling CL, Norman K, Schütz S, Wehner KA. (2006) MicroRNAs: Expression, avoidance and subversion by vertebrate viruses. Nat. Rev. Micro. 4: 651-659. [Link]

Schütz S, Sarnow P. (2006) Interaction of viruses with the mammalian RNA interference pathway. Virology 344: 151-157. [Link]

Wehner KA, Sarnow P. (2006) Regulation of mRNA molecules by microRNAs. In “Translational Control in Biology and Medicine”; Hershey J.W.H., Mathews M.B. and Sonenberg N., eds. CSH Press, NY. p297-318.

Almstead LL, Sarnow P. (2007) Inhibition of U snRNP assembly by a virus-encoded proteinase. Genes Dev. 21: 1086-1097. [Link]

Schütz S, Sarnow P. (2007) How viruses avoid stress. Cell Host Microbe. 2(5):284-285. [Link]

Elmén J, Lindow M, Schütz S, Lawrence M, Petri A, Lindholm M, Hedtjärn M, Frydenlund Hansen H, Berger U, Gullans S, Kearney P, Sarnow P, Straarup EM, Kauppinen S. (2008) Efficient and safe LNA-mediated microRNA silencing in non-human primates.Nature 452: 896-899. [Link]

Jopling CL, Schütz S, Sarnow P. (2008) Position-dependent function for a tandem microRNA miR-122-binding site located in the hepatitis C virus RNA genome. Cell Host Microbe 4(1): 77-85. [Link]

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