RNA is a versatile molecule, implicated in various essential biological pathways which include coding of the genetic information, translation through decoding and gene expression. From the very first prediction of its central role by Francis Crick till the discovery of catalytic RNA and RNA interference, the ‘RNA world” theory has become part of contemporary biology and changed completely our view on many essential and universal biological functions. Today, RNA holds a central role as essential modulator of a wide network of reactions in all domains of life. Most importantly, new roles for RNA have emerged through the advancement of high-throughput methodologies which underline the need for continuous work on various aspects of RNA biology.
The RNA biology group at the Department of Biochemistry of the School of Medicine at the University of Patras uses a multidisciplinary approach and has focused on important aspects of Ribonomics which include:
- Dynamic networks of tRNA biogenesis, aminoacylation and signaling in human
- Regulation of multiple pathways by tRNA-dependent riboswitches (T-boxes) in pathogens
- The role of rRNA in antibiotic resistance
- Characterization of essential enzymes with role in mRNA turnover
- Identification of novel miRNAs and tRFs in various human disease models
- Studies on RNA-related proteins that modulate its regulatory role