Vilardell Trench, JosepResearch Professor at
Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC - IBMB )
Life & Medical Sciences
Living systems carry on the information to reproduce ("Genetic" Information). As the rest of features of life, this is subjected to Natural Selection and there are many examples of strategies to optimize the storage of genetic information. However, apparently this does not hold in multicellular organisms, including us. Most our genes are repeatedly interrupted by many comparatively large, apparently meaningless, segments, that are neatly removed before decoding the gene. This removal is done by the spliceosome, a machine akin to a genome’s ghostwriter and possibly the most complex enzyme in a eukaryotic cell. Our research aims at what controls the spliceosome and how this is achieved. For this we follow a reductionist scheme with the yeast model, using molecular and computational approaches. We study the initial steps in the recognition of “meaningless” segments and their regulation. In addition, taking advantage of large datasets publicly available, we investigate how the spliceosome responds to aging, mutations, or disease, both in yeast and human cells.
Key wordsRNA splicing, genomics, gene expression, genetics, yeast, human