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The objective of the RNA Bioscience Initiative is to understand the role of RNA in biology, engage in collaborative research, create a fluid pipeline from basic science to clinical diagnostics and therapeutics, and train the next generation of RNA researchers.
Investigators on the CU Anschutz campus have already made important discoveries in the field, covering RNA structure-function, RNA biogenesis, mechanisms of regulation by non-coding RNAs, non-coding RNAs in disease, diagnostics, and therapeutics, cutting-edge RNA technologies and advanced genome-wide computational methods.
The RNA Bioscience Initiative continues to make substantial and sustained contributions to four major research areas:
A brief look at the latest discoveries from RBI faculty and trainees.
June 1, 2021
Rui Fu, Kimberly Wellman, Amber Baldwin, Juilee Rege, Kathryn Walters, Antje Hirsekorn, Kent Riemondy, William E Rainey and Neelanjan Mukherjee
Angiotensin II (AngII) stimulates adrenocortical cells to produce aldosterone, a master regulator of blood pressure. Despite extensive characterization of the transcriptional and enzymatic control of adrenocortical steroidogenesis, there are still major gaps in the precise regulation of AII-induced gene expression kinetics. Complete Abstract
May 24, 2021
Sidhant Puntambekar, Jay R Hesselberth, Kent A Riemondy, Rui Fu
Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has empowered discoveries of cell heterogeneity and state transitions at unprecedented resolution and throughput. New technological developments have broadened the scope of measurable molecules, extending beyond RNA to measure cell surface proteins. Complete Abstract
April 14, 2021
Maggie M. Balas, Erik W. Hartwick, Chloe Barrington, Justin T. Roberts, Stephen K. Wu, Ryan Bettcher, April M. Griffin, Jeffrey S. Kieft, Aaron M. Johnson
Human Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) catalysis of histone H3 lysine 27 methylation at certain loci depends on long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Yet, in apparent contradiction, RNA is a potent catalytic inhibitor of PRC2. Here, we show that intermolecular RNA-RNA interactions between the lncRNA HOTAIR and its targets can relieve RNA inhibition of PRC2. Complete Abstract
April 12, 2021
Shannon M Walsh, Ryan M Sheridan, Erin D Lucas, Thu A Doan, Brian C Ware, Johnathon Schafer, Rui Fu, Matthew A Burchill, Jay R Hesselberth, Beth Ann Jiron Tamburini
The detection of foreign antigens in vivo has relied on fluorescent conjugation or indirect read-outs such as antigen presentation. In our studies, we found that these widely used techniques had several technical limitations that have precluded a complete picture of antigen trafficking or retention across lymph node cell types. Complete Abstract
April 7, 2021
Seungjae Lee, Lu Wei, Binglong Zhang, Raeann Goering, Sonali Majumdar, Jiayu Wen, J Matthew Taliaferro, Eric C Lai
ELAV/Hu factors are conserved RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that play diverse roles in mRNA processing and regulation. The founding member, Drosophila Elav, was recognized as a vital neural factor 35 years ago. Nevertheless, little was known about its impact on the transcriptome, and potential functional overlap with its paralogs. Complete Abstract