Cytosine-5 RNA methylation in stem cell differentiation, stress pathways and cancer
Speaker: Sandra Blanco
Wellcome Trust/Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute [Cambridge, UK]
Host: Pedro Lazo
Salón de Actos del CIC
While transcriptional regulation is increasingly understood, little is known about how post-transcriptional mechanisms can influence gene expression regulation and cell homeostasis. To dissect the cellular and molecular functions of post-transcriptional modifications, I have used a combination of system-wide approaches, mouse models and in vitro differentiation assays.
Post-transcriptional modifications are commonly found in non-coding (nc)RNA species such as tRNAs and my studies have identified cytosine-5 methylation of ncRNA as a novel mechanism regulating stem cell fate and tumorigenesis. I have also found that loss of cytosine-5 RNA methylation during brain development activates stress pathways and apoptosis in neurons leading to microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities in mice and humans.