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The role of non coding RNA in human health and disease

Final Report Summary - RNA_REGULOMICS (The role of non coding RNA in human health and disease)

RNA_REGULOMICS is a joint Exchange programme between three partner institutions in two European countries (the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal; the University of Naples and Biogem in Naples, Italy) and one partner institution in Brazil, the Sao Paulo State University. The main goal of the programme was to establish collaborative training and joint research initiatives addressing the role of non-coding RNAs in health and disease. Specific scientific objectives were to 1) unravel the role of non-coding RNA and RNA-binding proteins in thyroid development, physiology and pathology; 2) determine how thyroid hormones regulate the transcriptome of osteoblasts derived from adipose stem cells; and 3) determine whether circulating micro RNAs can be used as biomarkers for heart disease. In brief, we have studied a novel long ncRNA termed Thybe1 (for Thyroid bud enriched 1) in the thyroid gland, and a previously uncharacterized RNA-binding protein, DnajC17, which was identified as a putative modifier gene predisposing to hypothyroidism. Furthermore, we optimized protocols for transcriptome analysis and osteoblast differentiation. Finally, we discovered that the ratio between circulating miRNA-122-5p and miRNA-133b is a new prognostic biomarker in acute myocardial infarction. Training activities included the collaborative organization of two workshops and two advanced practical courses, as well as staff exchange of four faculty members from the European partners and secondements of seven early career stage Brazilian researchers who developed joint research projects in Lisbon and Naples.