Molecular Mechanisms of RNA Modifying Machines
Grant amount: DKK 9,999,402
Ana Casañal says: “Gene expression can be regulated at multiple levels. This allows organisms to respond fast to specific cellular stimuli while still maintaining a stable internal environment. This regulation is often achieved through chemical marks on DNA, RNA and proteins. Although RNA marks were discovered in the 70s, only recently they have been described as key regulators of gene expression. They are involved in essential cellular roles, such as development and stress, and their deregulation is linked to human disorders, including cancer, infertility and depression. Despite their fundamental importance, the mechanisms that dictate how these marks are added on RNA and regulated remains poorly understood. My lab will combine structural biology and biochemical methods to determine the three-dimensional structure of the macromolecular machines that add and read out RNA marks. This will explain how RNA modifications work within the cell, and how they impact disease, which, in turn, will help to discover new therapeutic targets for drug development.
Ana Casañal will relocate from her postdoctoral position with Lori Passmore at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB), Cambridge, UK to set up her independent research group at Aarhus University.