The control of mRNA lifecycle is critical for the regulation of gene expression. Splicing and Poly(A)-tail addition, mRNA export and translation, every step of mRNA’s life is subject to elaborate control. Sooner or later, every mRNA in all organisms from all kingdoms of life is destined to degrade. For this reason, many mechanisms and factors are devoted to modulate precisely the stability and the rate of mRNA degradation. The modulation of mRNA stability has been shown to play important roles in the regulation of gene expression, quality control of mRNA biogenesis and antiviral defense. The first and often rate-limiting step in eukaryotic mRNA turnover is the shortening of the poly(A) tail. The process is known as deadenylation and is catalyzed by deadenylases which can be used as an essential molecular targets for the development of novel inhibitors.
Projects of the RNA biology group at the Department of Biochemistry of the School of Medicine at the University of Patras, include:
- Characterization of essential enzymes with role in mRNA turnover in human and mouse
- Studies on the rational drug design and screening of compound that inhibit deadenylation
- The role of deadenylases in differentiation and development of embryonic stem cells and hematopoietic stem cells