Work package 2: RNA metabolism
The term RNA metabolism covers a broad range of processes starting with the synthesis of RNA by transcription and ending with its degradation. Most, if not all, RNAs are processed by removal of sequences from the original transcript and, frequently, by rearrangement of the remainder. Additional sequences can be added or existing ones changed by chemical modifications. Transport processes determine the cellular localization of an RNA molecule. Additional mechanisms decide whether an RNA can fulfill its function, is kept in an inactive state, or is degraded. Each of these events contributes to the fate and regulation of the various kinds of RNAs present in a cell.
Together, these mechanisms play central roles in controlling the expression of the genetic information in cells and thereby determine developmental processes and the functionality of cells, tissues, and organs. Consequently, disturbances in any of these processes can contribute to disease. While some of these disease connections are known, well studied, and have already led to therapeutic strategies, many others remain to be discovered.
In this work package, we advance our current understanding of RNA metabolism, its regulation in health and disease, and the development of antisense-based therapeutic approaches.
Main research activities in this work package:• Uncovering mechanisms of RNA metabolism
• RNA metabolism and neurodegenerative diseases
• Therapeutic modulation of RNA metabolism
Participants:M. Zavolan (Leader)
H. Grosshans (Co-leader)