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Synthetic Biology of mRNA

Objective

mRNA is a major actor in the expression of cellular information, but we can only wield it in the very narrow boundaries imposed upon us by the transcriptional machinery and our lack of knowledge of the chemical scope of mRNA translation inhuman cells. Given the diverse role of mRNA in major life science applications from vaccination via gene therapy, chemistry, and diagnostics to pest control in agriculture, we argue that we are missing a huge opportunity to improve the outcome of medical therapies, broaden chemical catalysis, advance medical diagnostics, and reduce the human footprint in agriculture. With a focus on medical applications, NEWmRNA proposes to follow a synthetic biology approach to redraw the chemical map of the translation of mRNAs in human cells and at the same time to transform biological mass production of mRNAs. In the course of the project, we will implement a novel cellular assay to rapidly assess the impact of non-canonical forms of mRNA on translation and cellular signaling, re-engineer enzymatic mRNA synthesis via T7 RNA polymerase, introduce the concept of cloaked bioproduction in bacteria – the production of protected forms of instable molecules, coupled to enzymatic recovery post production – and introduce crucial steps for industrial-scale production of mRNA.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Switzerland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 484 177,50

Participants (5)

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 452 500
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 584 880
Address
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zurich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAT KONSTANZ
Germany
EU contribution
€ 585 000
Address
Universitatsstrasse 10
78464 Konstanz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THERAXEN SA
Luxembourg
EU contribution
€ 376 250
Address
296 Route De Longwy
1940 Luxembourg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
France
EU contribution
€ 515 737,50
Address
Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15
Activity type
Research Organisations