Torben Heick Jensen

Laboratory

Research

The regulation and fidelity of gene expression is of paramount importance for the maintenance and differentiation of all living organisms. Our laboratory studies the production and turnover of RNA in eukaryotic cells (S. cerevisiae, mouse and human) and its contribution to gene expression regulation at the post-transcriptional level. A main focus of the laboratory is to understand the molecular principles dictating the sorting of newly transcribed RNA into a productive pathway involving its packaging with protein and cellular transport vs. a destructive pathway leading to RNA turnover. 

Laboratory efforts can roughly be divided into four research topics:

· Delineation of nuclear human RNA decay pathways and their regulatory capacities

· Regulatory capacities of pervasive transcription

· Shaping of human transcriptomes by nonsense-mediated decay (NMD)

· Relationships between RNA synthesis and decay in S. cerevisiae

From 2005-2015 Torben Heick Jensen was heading the Danish National Research Foundation-funded ‘Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism’. These, and other, efforts are now continued via funding from the European Research Council (ERC), the Danish Council for Independent Research, the Novo Nordisk foundation, the Lundbeck Foundation and the Danish Cancer Society.

News

21.09.2018 | Forskning

Co-evolution between a "parasite gene" and its host

A Danish research team has delineated a complex symbiosis between a ‘parasitic’ noncoding RNA gene and its protein coding ‘host’ gene in human cells. The study reveals how co-evolution of the host gene and parasite gene has shaped a feedback mechanism in which the parasite gene plays a completely new and surprising part as regulator of the host…

Nuclear mRNAs carry an ‘A tail’ at their end. Under normal conditions (left panel) the protein Nab2 binds to the A tail and this protects the RNA against decay, which allows RNA to be exported to the cytoplasm with the help of Mex67. Under export block conditions (right panel), Nab2 binds to the A-tailed RNAs accumulating in the nucleus and therefore gets in short supply for protecting newly made RNA, which instead gets degraded already in the cell nucleus by enzymes attacking it from the A tail end. Figure: Manfred Schmid.

30.08.2018 | Forskning

New method uncovers the importance of keeping a good nuclear RNA hygiene

How cells translate their genetic information into functional RNA and protein is a central question in biology. Researchers from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University have invented a new technology to study regulatory principles of gene expression. Applying this methodology to bakers yeast they found that RNAs that…

Marta
Logan

01.08.2018 | Medarbejdernyhed

Farewell

We are sorry that three of our long-standing PostDocs Logan, Marta and Aga have left the lab this summer. Thanks for everything and all the best for your future!

28.05.2018 | Forskning, Udgivelse

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.