Silver: RNA Dynamics

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Dynamics of RNAs

The importance of RNAs in regulation of cell determination and disease continues to grow. We study the dynamics of RNAs including co-transcriptional alternative splicing and transport out of the nucleus, as well as proper localizatin in the cytoplasm. We use both yeast and mammalian cells. In doing so, we have discovered that mRNAs are processed and recruited for transport as they are synthesized. This finding has allowed us to employ genome-wide location analysis to determine the patterns of alternative splicing and the specificity of proteins that affect RNA processing and movement. We have also generated a spatial and temporal map of the expression of all RNA-binding proteins in mammalian neural development. The mouse RNA binding protein data is posted here.

Recent studies include the identification of all metazoan proteins important for mRNA transport and for alternative splicing of genes important in certain diseases and physiological changes such as apoptosis. In addition, in combination with our synthetic biology efforts, we are building novel genes to examine the impact of gene and intron length on gene expression. Certain models predict interesting behavior such as oscillations depending on the gene structure that could impact how genes are regulated during development.

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