"For over a decade, our research programme has focused on the chemical biology of nucleic acids. The structure of nucleic acids is key to their biological functions, and the four-stranded guanine rich class of structures called G-quadruplexes constitute a particularly intriguing motif. Recent evidence suggests a role for G-quadruplex (G4) structures in RNA leaving their fundamental importance in biology open for exploration. Our central hypothesis is that the G4 structural motif, rather than its sequence per se, conveys important function(s) in RNA. We propose to directly address this hypothesis by the experimental identification of functional RNA G4 structures within the cellular transcriptome on a genome-wide scale. In particular, we intend to reveal detailed insights into their functional contributions to: a) translation and b) telomere biology. The proposed programme constitutes an integrated, interdisciplinary approach that combines chemical biology, synthetic chemistry, molecular and cell biology together with genomics."
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