Single Molecule RNA Biology – Dynamics and Function of RNA From Transcription to Degradation


RNA plays a central role in every living cell, as it connects the genetic information with the phenotype. Specific species of RNA are involved in virtually every aspect of cellular function. RNA molecules themselves are subject to dynamic regulation at all steps from their generation to degradation. The transcription of mRNA, for example, is highly regulated by chromatin state, transcription factor binding and polymerase activity. A deeper understanding of RNA biology will not only provide insights into core cellular functions, but is also of medical relevance and may enable new therapeutic approaches to human diseases. Here, we quantitatively investigate the lives of RNAs from transcription to degradation and elucidate how they are embedded into and affected by regulatory networks in the cell. We combine comprehensive quantitative data at high-temporal and spatial resolution with computational analysis. At the core of this approach is the emerging ability to probe mRNA molecules, down to the single molecule level, in live cells. To complement the resulting dynamic data from individual cells, we need both structural information about the relevant RNA and its interacting proteins, accessible e.g. through X-ray crystallography, NMR or cryo-EM, and system-wide analysis of the regulatory networks, accessible by using high-throughput techniques such as PAR-CLIP. Such comprehensive data sets will allow the generation of predictive mathematical models that provide a formal understanding of the complex regulatory interactions and insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms.


Principal Investigators
Klipp, Edda Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h.c. (Details) (Theoretical Biophysics)

Duration of Project
Start date: 12/2013
End date: 11/2016

Last updated on 2020-04-11 at 13:36