Encrypted messages in biological processes



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Fig. 1. RNA is composed of four bases (abbreviated A, U, G and C) and disseminates its message with a fairly simple code. Research in recent years has shown an unprecedented impact of RNA modifications at all steps of the maturation process (figure: Annita Louloupi and Evgenia Ntini).
Fig. 2. Newly made RNA consists of functional parts (exons) and non-functional parts (introns). Introns are excised in a process called splicing to yield a mature and functional RNA molecule composes entirely of exons. The RNA modification m6A can increase or inhibit this maturation process dependent of where m6A is deposited on newly made RNA (figure: Ulf Andersson Vang Ørom).

2018.06.20 | Research

Encrypted messages in biological processes

RNA modifications can encrypt the RNA code and are responsible for a very sophisticated control of RNA function. A Danish-German research team has shown that modified RNA bases have a great impact on the dynamics of gene expression from DNA to functional RNA. The study yields important new insight into how the basis of RNA modifications can affect…

Charlotte Rohde Knudsen (left) and Louise Dalskov

2018.06.04 | People

Award of the teaching prizes 2018

Charlotte Rohde Knudsen and Louise Marie Kragh Dalskov were awarded the prizes as teacher of the year and the student teacher of the year 2018, respectively, at the Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics on Friday 1 June 2018.

Jaslyn Wong. Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation
Recipients of a grant for studies abroad. Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation
Several of the members from the lab participated in the ceremony in Copenhagen. Photo: Terry Mun.

2018.05.24 | Research

Talented researcher awarded large grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation

At a ceremony in Copenhagen, Jaslyn Wong from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics was awarded a 4-year postdoc grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation valued DKK 3,44 million for three years’ study in Cambridge and one year in Aarhus.

Figure. A functional competition between RNA export factor AlyREF and the RNA exosome adaptor protein ZFC3H1 determines the fate of polyadenylated RNA. Shortly after RNA transcription starts, the nascent RNA is bound by the cap-binding proteins, CBP20 and CBP80. ARS2 directly interacts with CBP20/CBP80 to bridge interactions with several different complexes that determine RNA fate. (Left panel of the figure). Polyadenylated RNAs, like most mRNAs, are exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in a process involving the export factor AlyREF, which interacts with CBP20/CBP80 to recruit the export machinery. (Right panel of the figure). ZFC3H1 acts as a central factor in retention and degradation of polyadenylated RNA. This prevents unwanted RNAs from entering the cytoplasm where they could potentially cause a global translation collapse. Figure: Toomas Silla.

2018.05.16 | Research

New nuclear RNA retention activity discovered

Gene expression involves mRNA transport from its place of synthesis to the cytoplasm where protein translation occurs. However, many non-coding RNA species do not follow this flow and new data now demonstrate how cells prevent the unwanted export of RNA and instead ensure nuclear degradation.

PhD defences

Cagla Sahin

2018.06.27 | Talent development

Cagla Sahin: Self-assembly of proteins – what causes Parkinson's Disease?

PhD defence, Wednesday 27 June 2018, Cagla Sahin.

Jakob Ulstrup

2018.06.15 | Talent development

Jakob Ulstrup: Flippin' Lipids - A Study of P4-ATPases

PhD defence, Friday 15 June 2018, Jakob Jensen Ulstrup.