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Revision as of 14:57, 16 February 2009

Dynamics of RNAs

The importance of RNAs in regulation of cell determination and disease continues to grow. We study the dynamics of RNAs including alternative splicing and transport out of the nucleus, as well as proper localization in the cytoplasm. Much of our past work has employed the simple yeast. We have more recently extended lessons from yeast to mammalian cells.

We have employed genome-wide location analysis to determine the patterns of alternative splicing and the specificity of proteins that affect RNA processing and movement. We have also generated a spatial and temporal map of the expression of all RNA-binding proteins in mammalian neural development. The mouse RNA binding protein data is posted here.

Recent studies include the identification of all metazoan proteins important for mRNA transport and for alternative splicing of genes important in certain diseases and physiological changes such as apoptosis. From our siRNA screens, we have identified factors that connect different levels of RNA processing and translation. In addition, in combination with our synthetic biology efforts, we have built novel gene circuits to examine the impact of intron length on gene expression. Certain models predict interesting behavior such as oscillations depending on the gene structure that could impact how genes are regulated during development.