Our research aims to understand mechanisms regulating RNA Polymerase II and
co-transcriptional RNA processing in normal and diseased eukaryotic cells
Oncoproteins in the regulation of the transcriptional cycle
how gene expression is controlled in healthy and cancer cells
regulation of transcription elongation
the molecular mechanisms driving carcinogenesis
The human protein CREPT (Cell cycle-Related and expression-Elevated Protein in Tumor) is a proto-oncogene interacting with the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA Polymerase II which has been shown to be overexpressed in 80% of cancers. Our goal is to understand the functions of CREPT and his interactors in the regulation of gene expression.
Molecular mechanisms of Prader-Willi Syndrome
processing of non-coding RNA
functions of ncRNA in neuronal development
regulation of gene expression in PWS
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder recognized as the most common genetic cause of life-threatening obesity. In our project, we study the impact of PWS-related ncRNAs on gene expression in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Our approach will allow to understand how ncRNA regulate neuronal development.
Roles for mRNA capping in transcription
cross-talk between nascent RNA and Pol II
hallmarks of mRNA synthesis
phosphorylation of Pol II CTD
All transcripts generated by RNA Polymerase II are capped at their 5' ends by capping enzymes recruited to the CTD of Pol II. The cap protects RNA from 5'-3' degradation and is essential for mRNA export and translation. Our research aims to elucidate how the presence of the cap influences transcribing RNA Polymerase II and regulates the transcriptional cycle.
RNA processing in cellular stress response
transcriptional response strategies
synthesis of coding and non-coding RNA
cellular stress in diseased cells
Immediate adaption of cell physiology in response to external and internal stressors is crucial for cell survival. Unusual processing pathways for stress-induced mRNAs are crucial in this process. We investigate how the mRNA 3’ processing factors contribute to the cellular stress response to learn how cells survive and fight off extreme and pathological conditions.
The recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic revealed how societies are vulnerable to virus outbreaks. Our lab collaborates with prof Micheal Hannon from the Department of Chemistry, UoB on novel class of nano-agents (Supramolecular cylinders) that bind RNA bulges in the untranslated regions of viruses and affect high-order RNA structures essential for viral life cycle