In addition to functioning as a messenger between DNA and protein, RNA is involved in regulating chromatin architecture, gene expression and transcriptional dynamics. We investigate the function of non-coding RNAs in transcriptional and translation control, and how their evolution has contributed to the diversification of animal morphology.
The control of mRNA fate
We are studying how the fate of mRNA is regulated under both active growth and stress conditions. As such, we investigate mRNA entry into P-bodies, stress granules and RNA granules associated with translation.
We also follow how the determination of mRNA is co-ordinated with upstream and downstream processes including transcription, RNA processing, RNA export, RNA degradation and translation.
Principal investigator: Dr Mark Ashe
The function of non-coding RNAs
We are investigating the function of non-coding RNAs in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae through the development of barcoded deletion strains in the different classes of non-coding RNAs including the tRNAs, snRNAs, snoRNAs, Stable Unannotated Transcripts (SUTs) and Cryptic Unannotated Transcripts (CUTs).
By using these deletion strains we hope to reveal the function of non-coding RNAs and how non-coding RNA expression regulates chromatin architecture and transcriptional dynamics.
Principal investigator: Dr Raymond O'Keefe
Noncoding RNA regulation of gene expression and function
We are interested in understanding the developmental roles and molecular functions of two types of noncoding RNAs; the microRNAs, involved in translational repression, and the less well understood long noncoding RNAs, implicated in directing chromatin modifications and enhancer-promoter interactions.
Our work aims to understand the molecular mechanisms used by these molecules in controlling developmental processes and how their evolution has contributed to the diversification of animal morphology.
Principal investigator: Dr Matthew Ronshaugen
Other major gene expression and chromatin signalling research activity
Gene regulatory programmes driving cell fate decisions
Deregulation of gene expression in disease
Signalling and transcriptional dynamics
Chromatin structure and gene regulation