RNA is likely to be the most rediscovered macromolecule in biology. Periodically, new non-canonical functions have been ascribed to RNA, such as the ability to act as a catalytic molecule or to work independently from its coding capacity. Recent annotations show that more than half of the transcriptome encodes for RNA molecules lacking coding activity. In the lab we are currently studying how these transcripts affect muscle differentiation and related disorders. In the lab, we have recently identified several long non coding RNAs differentially expressed during myogenesis and with either nuclear or cytoplasmic localization. One of the identified transcripts, lnc-31, even if originating from the same nuclear precursor of miR-31, is produced by a pathway mutually exclusive and exerts a crucial role in the commitment of precursor myoblasts into myotubes. By combining molecular and cellular biology technique with advanced high-throughput RNA sequencing and in situ hybridization approaches we are working to get a more comprehensive catalogue of other muscle and cardiac specific lncRNAs and to decipher how these molecules regulate gene expression/chromatin dynamics.
Lab Keywords: molecular biology, myogenesis, noncoding RNAs, long noncoding RNAs, chromatin, transcription, epigenetics, RNA factories.
Ateneo Progetti Medi 2017: Dissecting the role of the long non-coding RNA Charme in cardiomyogenesis. Coordinator: Monica Ballarino
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