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Model for RNA fate decisions: Early during its production by PolII, the CBC-bound cap of the emerging RNA is contacted by ‘productive’ (PHAX) and ‘destructive’ (ZC3H18) factors. These proteins form mutually exclusive complexes with the CBC until a ‘decision point’ (e.g. a terminator) is encountered by PolII, after which RNA fate is determined by stable interaction with either PHAX or ZC3H18.

21.03.2017 | Forskning

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.

16.12.2016 | Forskning

Discovery of connection between RNA splicing and decay machineries

RNA synthesis, splicing and degradation are key activities in eukaryotic gene expression regulation. A collaborative effort between researchers from the Max Planck Institute, Martinsried and Aarhus University now reveals the physical basis for linking RNA degradation to the splicing process.

07.11.2016 | Forskning

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

1) Gene promoters that are far away from other genes typically produce transcripts on both strands. The PROMoter uPstream Transcript (PROMPT) is short and rapidly degraded due to special DNA sequence patterns around the PROMPT and which are not present at the gene start site. Thus, the gene product is typically a stable mRNA. 2) If two gene start sites share a common promoter, no PROMPTs are produced. Both genes start sites produce stable RNAs. 3) If two gene promoters are closely positioned, PROMPTs are produced, but are stabilized because the DNA signals necessary for their degradation cannot form because the gene promoters are too close. Instead, the PROMPTs grow longer and are stable, which in effect creates longer mRNA variants from the two gene start sites. 4) If gene promoters are sufficiently separated, their DNA patterns do not influence their neighboring PROMPTs, which remain short and unstable, much like in the first case above.

15.08.2016 | Forskning

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.

27.04.2016 | Forskning

Torben appointed member of the Royal Danish Society of Sciences and Letters

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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