Post-transcriptional network analysis is one necessary building block to advance our understanding of cardiovascular health and disease. It will open up new medical options.
The flow of genetic information from DNA to proteins has been traditionally seen as a linear pathway with an RNA intermediate. However, instead of just being an inert carrier of information, RNA performs a multitude of tasks and may even be transformed in the course of these events. For example, mRNA stability and translation efficiency is regulated by secondary structure and/or interactions with microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and RNA binding proteins (RBPs). Moreover, RNA editing modifies the primary sequence, and changes in RNA localization influence the availability of RNA molecules. The rediscovery of circular RNAs (circRNAs) added another poorly characterized class of molecules to the set of players. All of these processes and interaction networks are subsumed under the term “post-transcriptional gene regulation” and have an impact on numerous cellular processes.
The Dieterich Lab works on computational and statistical approaches to study
- RNA modifications (i.e. RNA editing and others)
- RNA-RNA and RNA-protein interactions
- Circular RNAs
- Control of translation
- RNA dynamics
- Data integration (OMICS & clinical data)