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LABORATORY OF NUCLEIC ACIDS


 

 

The activity of the Nucleic Acids Laboratory is centered on three Project Lines, corresponding to two research packages, as follows:

Project: Structure, function and planning  of proteins, nucleic acids and their supramolecular complexes.
Package: Structure and function of nucleic acids and chromatin. Epigenetics
Person in charge: ERNESTO DI MAURO

The knowledge of entire genomic sequences of numerous model system organisms allows the exploitation of global analysis approaches to investigate both epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and supramolecular genomic structures. Our aim is to identify chromatin regulatory mechanisms on transcription control regions and on structural DNA regions. It also points to the understanding of the origin and function of non-coding RNAs in model systems as yeast, Drosophila, culture cells and animal systems. The acquired knowledge will be relevant for the production of molecules in a biotechnological perspective.

Eurocore Project Unit NuRNASu
Package: Structure and function of nucleic acids and chromatin. Epigenetics
Package module: Regulation of RNA biosynthesis and structure.
Person in charge: IRENE BOZZONI

During the past two decades it was determined that, in addition to the function of transporter of genetic information, RNA also carries out a large number of different activities, mostly related to the genetic expression of regulatory processes. Particularly interesting are the non-coding RNAs, which regulate important processes such as splicing (snRNA), processing (snoRNA), traduction (miRNA) and RNA stability (siRNA). The interest in studying non-coding RNA does not consist only in the analysis of its peculiar and new functions. It also pertains to the study of the regulation of its synthesis and of its mechanisms of action. While the mechanisms regulating synthesis and maturation of mRNA are well known, little is known about the regulation and maturation of these new species of RNA, which can be defined as regulators of gene expression. The study of new functions of RNA allows the production of a powerful means to sequence-specifically control gene expression, which is relevant for original applications to numerous molecular pathologies.

Project: Regulation of gene expression and its integration with the cell signaling network
Package : Regulation of gene expression and its integration with the cell signaling network  
Person in charge: IDA RUBERTI

The knowledge of the genome of numerous model systems allows the exploitation of functional genomics approaches and the deciphering of gene functions in regulatory networks. The study entails the analysis of gene regulation in differentiation and development processes, also as an answer to environmental stimuli, in animal and plant organisms . The acquired knowledge will be used for the prevention and cure of human pathologies and for applications aiming for improvements of cultivated species and the production of bioenergy.