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Derived and Ancestral RNAs: Comparative Genomics and Evolution of ncRNAs

Objective

Much light has been shed on the number, mechanisms and functions of protein-coding genes in the human genome. In comparison, we know almost nothing about the origins and mechanisms of the functional dark matter , including sequence that is transcribed outside of protein-coding gene loci. This interdisciplinary proposal will capitalize on new theoretical and experimental opportunities to establish the extent by which long non-coding RNAs contribute to mammalian and fruit fly biology. Since 2001, the Ponting group has pioneered the comparative analysis of protein-coding genes across the amniotes and Drosophilids within many international genome sequencing consortia. This Advanced Grant will break new ground by applying these approaches to long intergenic non-coding RNA (lincRNA) genes from mammals to birds and to flies. The Grant will allow Ponting to free himself of the constraints normally associated with in silico analyses by analysing lincRNAs in vitro and in vivo. The integration of computational and experimental approaches for lincRNAs from across the metazoan tree provides a powerful new toolkit for elucidating the origins and biological roles of these enigmatic molecules. Catalogues of lincRNA loci will be built for human, mouse, fruit fly, zebrafinch, chicken and Aplysia by exploiting data from next-generation sequencing technologies. This will immediately provide a new perspective on how these loci arise, evolve and function, including whether their orthologues are apparent across diverse species. Using new evidence that lincRNA loci act in cis with neighbouring protein-coding loci, we will determine lincRNA mechanisms and will establish the consequences of lincRNA knock-down, knock-out and over-expression in mouse, chick and fruitfly.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/zoology/mammalogy
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/rna
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/genome
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/horticulture/fruit
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/astrophysics/dark matter

Call for proposal

ERC-2009-AdG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 966 385,48
Principal investigator
Christopher Paul Ponting (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Gill Wells (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (2)

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 966 385,48
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Christopher Paul Ponting (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Gill Wells (Ms.)
MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

Participation ended

United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 433 614,52
Address
North Star Avenue Polaris House 2 Floor David Phillips Building
SN2 1FL Swindon
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Jodie Claridge (Ms.)