Dissecting the in vivo RNA structurome to decipher RNA folding rules
RNA is a single-stranded molecule, able to fold back on itself to form intricate secondary and tertiary structures. An n nucleotide-long RNA can virtually assume up to 1.8n different conformations, but only a tiny subset of such structures is actually sampled in vivo.
Their formation is governed by the crosstalk between a plethora of factors, such as ions, macromolecular crowding, RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and chaperones, post-transcriptional modifications (PTMs), etcetera.
These structures are crucial to the ability of RNA to perform complex biological functions such as catalysis, regulation of gene expression, and macromolecular scaffolding, making the understanding of how it folds a key need.
The main aim of our lab is to decipher the rules underlying RNA structure formation and to dissect the role of the individual players (RBPs, PTMs, etc.), by means of NGS-based and computational approaches, in order to tackle the complexity of the in vivo RNA structurome.
We are interested in:
▪ Understanding the mechanistic aspects of RNA folding
▪ Investigating the crosstalk between RNA structure, PTMs and RBPs
▪ Characterizing the biological function of key RNA structure elements
Molecular genetics & biochemistry
Exploiting traditional molecular genetics and biochemistry techniques to study the formation, the regulation and the biological impact of RNA structure
Next Generation Sequencing
Devising novel NGS methods to query RNA structure and post-transcriptional modifications (e.g. CIRS-seq, SPET-seq, 2Ome-seq)
Developing computational tools and analysis methods for improved RNA structure inference (e.g. RNA Framework)