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New research results


Regulering af RNA er afgørende for differentiering af stamceller

Forskere fra Aarhus Universitet og Københavns Universitet viser i et nyt studie, at for meget RNA i cellekernen kan have negative konsekvenser for afgørende regulator af stamcelle-differentiering.

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 fail to get exported from their site of synthesis in the cell nucleus are rapidly decayed. This provides a new regulatory principle in the complex process of gene expression.


Researchers reveal dual role for human RNA decay factor

Researchers at Aarhus University have characterized the human RNA decay factor ZC3H18 and discovered its unanticipated role in the production of protein-coding RNA. The new study, published this week in Cell Reports, therefore reveals a double-faced activity of ZC3H18 in nuclear RNA fate decisions.


Sorting RNA for production or decay

Our genomes are promiscuously transcribed into RNA. How cells manage to sort this massive genomic output into functional and non-functional material has remained enigmatic. New research describes protein interactions involved in such RNA fate determination.


Newly discovered RNA decay pathway inside human nuclei

Genomes are promiscuously transcribed into RNA. However, not all of this material is immediately useful, which means it has to be targeted and degraded in order to sustain cellular life. A newly discovered RNA decay pathway functioning inside human nuclei does just that.

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Generation of complex gene architectures in the human genome

Intense investigations during the past 10-15 years have revealed that the human genome is transcribed in a manner that is much more complicated than previously appreciated. A collaboration between researchers from Aarhus and Copenhagen now reveals some underlying principles leading to such promiscuous genome activity.

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The invisible sign of the genome

Traditionally it has been thought that only a few percent of our genome plays a role. Research has previously focused on the coding DNA, but also areas outside the focus area may have an impact. Scientists are starting to sort out the huge pile of genetic material called non-coding RNA.

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Surprising new mechanism for gene expression regulation

A new important role for a protein connected to the proper function of neurons has been discovered by a research group from MBG, Aarhus University. The studies shed new light on gene expression regulation and may ultimately lead to an understanding of how neurological defects occur when this protein is mutated.

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How to target the RNA decay machinery

In collaboration with two other European groups, researchers from Aarhus University have uncovered molecular details leading to targetting of the major RNA decay machinery, the RNA exosome, to its nuclear RNA substrates. Studies can now be designed to address the role of this early nuclear RNA decay pathway in processes where rapid RNA decay may be critical, i.e. during embryonic development, cell differentiation and various stress conditions.

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A novel strategy to sort functional from non-functional RNA

The human genome is promiscuously transcribed yielding RNA from >75% of its DNA. It is presently intensely debated how much of this material is functional. Danish researchers have devised a method to help address this problem.

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Host genes under the knife

A Danish research team has analysed the use of a particular cellular RNA degradation mechanism, which has revealed how the expression of the most complex class of genes in human cells is controlled. The study contributes to an understanding of the cell’s basic regulatory tools, and the results may eventually lead to a better understanding of the molecular background for certain forms of cancer.

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Proteins suppress useless gene activity in human cells

A new study shows how our cells sort the wheat from the chaff in a tangle of useful and useless gene molecules. In collaboration with international research groups, a Danish research team from Aarhus University has now found a mechanism that helps the cells prevent accumulation of the many useless RNA molecules being constantly produced by runaway gene activity in our cells. These findings contribute to a new understanding of our genes and may eventually help our understanding of gene activity in stem cells and cancer.

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How human gene promoters become directional

An international research team has disclosed how cellular gene transcription and RNA degradation processes collaborate to achieve a directional output from human genes.

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Identification of a novel mRNA degradation pathway in humans

Researchers from Denmark and Poland have uncovered a novel molecular pathway, which regulates gene expression in the cytoplasm of human cells. The finding has implications for the human diseases; the Perlman syndrome of overgrowth and Wilms' tumor development.

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Length matters in gene expression

A research team at Aarhus University reveals a surprising interplay between the ends of human genes: If a protein-coding gene is too short it becomes inactive! The findings also explain how some short genes have adapted to circumvent this handicap.

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mRNA quality control mechanism prevents contamination of cells

Researchers from Aarhus University have just disclosed a new quality control mechanism that prevents contamination of cells with aberrant mRNA. This helps us to understand how mRNA quality control can act in a precautionary way to avoid the cellular spreading of toxic molecules.

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Surprising new mechanism for gene expression regulation

An international research team has disclosed how cellular gene transcription and RNA degradation processes collaborate to achieve a directional output from human genes.

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New protein complexes shed light on quality control in human cells

Researchers at Aarhus University have identified and characterised two novel protein complexes associated with the human RNA exosome, an important player in the cell's quality control of RNA. The new protein complexes will help determine how RNA molecules are discriminated by the cell, and the discovery, which is published in the prestigious international journal Molecular Cell, is therefore an important step forward in understanding how human cells protect themselves against errors in gene expression.

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Millions of small RNAs paint a bigger picture of human gene activity

Scientists have discovered the origin of a new group of small RNAs (sRNAs) that contain genetic information. This discovery can lead to a better understanding of how human genes are controlled, and with this knowledge, scientists might one day be able to regulate some of the genes that cause various diseases.

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Internal communication within genes stimulates gene expression

Scientists from the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism at Aarhus University in Denmark have described a mechanism through which the beginning and the end of a gene communicate, which leads to a more efficient process of gene expression. The study provides deeper insight into the fundamental processes that drive and regulate gene expression in human cells – an insight that is crucial for understanding and in turn controlling human genetic diseases.


New catalytic subunit of the human RNA exosome

Scientists at the Danish National Research Foundation Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism have identified a new subunit of the human RNA exosome. The discovery was published in The EMBO Journal and adds an important new understanding to how this remarkable molecular machine works in the processing and degradation of RNA molecules inside our cells. Moreover, it highlights how the complex has evolved.


A “molecular torpedo” improves gene quality

New research reveals a molecular mechanism that improves gene expression and thereby cell survival.


Danish-Swiss research collaboration sheds new light on vital cellular process

Danish and Swiss scientists have joined forces in revealing a key basic principle behind a cellular process that protects our cells against a frequently occurring mutation involved in the progression of 1/3 of all known mutation-based human diseases. The finding may be important for the future development of targeted medicine.


Revelation of previously hidden transcription activities in the human genome

Researchers from Aarhus University have revealed a hitherto unobserved layer of activity of the human genome. This discovery promises to revise our understanding of how genetic information is processed and how this process is regulated.


Molecular mechanism behind quality control of gene expression revealed

Research headed by the group of Torben Heick Jensen, the Danish National Research Foundation "Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism", Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University, has revealed a new molecular mechanism in gene expression underlying the quality control of so-called "mRNPs".


New important research results in molecular biology

Research conducted at the University of Aarhus' Danish National Research Foundation Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism at the Department of Molecular Biology and Institute for Human Genetics has revealed a molecular mechanism (a "reversed coupling" in gene expresseion) by which so-called intron-containing genes are kept at a high level of activity.

Honorary awards, prizes, large research grants, etc.


60 million Danish kroner for basic biomedical research

Professor Torben Heick Jensen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, receives DKK 60 million (Euro 8 million) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation's Challenge Programme to establish the research center 'Exo-Adapt', which will determine how our cells sort genetic information.

Torben Heick Jensen appointed member of the Academy of Sciences

At the meeting of members on 31 March 2016 in the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Professor Torben Heick Jensen was elected member of the natural science class.

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Finding hidden treasures in our DNA

The human genome is promiscuously transcribed yielding RNA from >75% of its DNA, and throughout the years, researchers world-wide have tried to find out how much of this material is functional. Danish researchers have now received a prestigious grant from the Lundbeck Foundation to address this problem.

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Molecular geneticist at AU among the most frequently cited researchers in the world

eLife is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal for the biomedical and life sciences. It was sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Max Planck Society and Wellcome Trust following a workshop held in 2010 at the Janelia Farm Research Campus and finally established at the end of 2012.

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Torben Heick Jensen awarded ERC Advanced Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded an Advanced Grant to Professor Torben Heick Jensen to support his research into genome expression, stability and technology.

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Torben Heick Jensen speaker at highly esteemed lecture series

Torben Heick Jensen - Professor at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and Director of the Danish National Research Foundation-funded centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism - has been invited to give a talk in the prestigious ‘Mendel Lecture series’. The event is taking place on 18th April 2013 in Brno, the Czech Republic.

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Great international recognition of Torben Heick Jensen

Professor Torben Heick Jensen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, has achieved great international recognition with his nomination as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). The election to EMBO is in recognition of Professor Jensen’s outstanding research within gene expression.

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