Understanding the molecular basis of regulating gene expression
A collaborative project led by Professor Ian Eperon of the Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology.
Our multi-disciplinary work will transform our understanding of a fundamental step in gene expression, it will involve the development of new methods that should be of widespread use for many studies in the assembly of large biological complexes, and it will produce new insights that will enable researchers to develop new classes of therapeutics that re-direct and correct splicing in disease.
The purpose of this project is to find out how swarms of RNA-binding proteins, binding to many different sites on the RNA, manage to control the selection of splice sites in pre-mRNA. Selecting the right sites is essential for producing an mRNA that can be translated into protein. Moreover, the process is very flexible in humans, and switching selection to different sites allows different proteins to be expressed from a single gene. This is vital in processes ranging from memory and cell differentiation to death and disease.