Prof. Gunter Meister: Gene regulation by non-coding RNA and RNA modification pathways

28 November 2018

Time: 3.30 PM 

Venue: J C Ray-Auditorium, CSIR-IICB, Jadavpur Campus

Speaker:

Prof. Gunter Meister 
Lehrstuhl für Biochemie I
Fakultät für Biologie und Vorklinische Medizin
Universität Regensburg
Germany

Topic:

Gene regulation by non-coding RNA and RNA modification pathways

Abstract: 

Gene expression is not only regulated at the level of transcription, but also at many post-transcriptional steps. Various classes of non-coding RNAs have been identified that affect gene expression including microRNAs, lncRNAs or circular RNAs, which are generated by alternative splicing and can function as sponges for miRNAs or RNA-binding proteins. RNAs do not function as sole RNA molecules but are instead incorporated into RNA-protein complexes, in which at least one RNA-binding protein (RBP) contacts the RNA directly. Consequently, RBPs are essential for many RNA-mediated processes. We have identified a large number of RBPs that affect miRNA biogenesis and present a model, in which RBPs serves are regulatory hubs to coordinate RNA-guide processes.

The Lupus autoantigen La is one of these RBPs that functions as RNA chaperone and ensures that RNAs fold into their functional structures. La is part of a larger protein family termed La-related proteins. Besides La, we characterized LARP7 in detail and find that it interacts with non-coding spliceosomal U snRNAs and at the same time with so-called small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs). SnoRNAs guide 2’-O-methylation of the spliceosomal U snRNAs and LARP7 bridges the two RNPs for efficient modification. Our findings are relevant for an inheritable disease called the Alazami syndrome, in which LARP7 is mutated. Our data underscores the tremendous impact of RBPs on correct cell function and disease.