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Systematic study of post-transcriptional regulation mediated by RNA-binding proteins and miRNAs


Post-transcriptional regulation (PTR) is increasingly recognized as a pervasive and complex system that regulates every aspect of RNA metabolism including splicing, localization, stability and translation. PTR is mediated by the interactions of trans-factors such as RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and miRNAs with cis-acting elements located in mRNAs. Regulatory networks controlled by RBPs and miRNAs have been viewed as two distinct mechanisms; however, a number of recent studies have shown that RBPs and miRNAs can act in coordination. Previous studies of PTR have ignored this fact and only focused on a single class of factors, i.e. either RBPs or miRNAs. In this proposal, we will (i) develop computational models that consider the joint effect of multiple RBPs and miRNAs to explain PTR events (ii) integrate our PTR model with additional regulatory elements such as transcription factors, epigenetic marks and copy number changes to explain more general phenomena such as differential gene expression in cancer.
Recent explosion of data in (i) RBP binding specificities, (ii) post-transcriptional fate of mRNAs (e.g. localization, stability)
and (iii) mRNA-bound proteome in human cells have enabled the systematic study of post-transcriptional events, which is
the main goal of this proposal. The proposed project will start with a genome-wide mapping of binding sites of RBPs and
miRNAs in mRNAs. These potential binding sites will then be investigated for cooperative or competitive interactions
between RBPs and miRNAs. Independent binding sites and interactions will be converted to features, and used in statistical
models to identify cis-regulatory elements that are predictive of PTR events such as localization,
stability, and differential gene expression in cancer. Identification of such cis-regulatory elements and their interacting trans factors will lead to new insights in disease-causing perturbations, and hence, will hopefully lead to novel approaches for
their cure.

Call for proposal

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Sirinyali Mah Metin Kasapoglu Cad 60
07230 Antalya
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 100 000
Administrative Contact
Janset Aykaya (Mrs.)