Tools for Studying and Using Small RNAs: From Pathways to Functions to Therapies
Poster Jun 29, 2015
Kenneth Chang and Gregory J. Hannon
During the past decade, small RNAs have emerged as crucial regulators of gene expression and genome function, having roles in almost every aspect of biology. Many small RNAs act through RNA interference (RNAi)-related mechanisms, which involve programming the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to recognize and repress targets. One class of small RNA, the microRNAs (miRNAs), naturally regulates programmes of gene expression. Altered miRNA function contributes to human disease, and manipulation of specific miRNAs is now being pursued as a novel therapeutic modality. Small RNAs have also been adapted for use as tools based on reprogramming the RNAi machinery to silence specific coding or non-coding RNAs. These tools have been exploited to investigate gene function in cultured cells and in living animals. Genome-scale collections of silencing triggers permit phenotype-based genetic screens to be carried out easily in organisms in which they were previously difficult or impossible. Such strategies are being used to discover and validate new therapeutic targets, and small RNAs themselves may offer a mechanism for inhibiting targets that are currently viewed as 'undruggable'.
Psychiatric Risk Gene Cacna1c and Early Life Stress: Potential Gene-Environment interactions?Poster
Early life stress (ELS) is highly associated with development of psychopathology
and mood disorders in adulthood. Genetic studies have identified variation in the gene calcium voltage-gated channel subunit alpha1C (CACNA1C) to increase risk for several psychiatric disorders. This poster assessed the expression of Cacna1c following prepubertal stress.
Novel Role of the Innate Immune DNA Sensor IFI16 (Interferon Gamma Inducible Protein 16) as a Major Epigenetic Modulator During KSHV Infection and Lytic ReactivationPoster
Studies have shown that IFI16 acts as an antiviral restriction factor against a number of DNA viruses, by inhibiting viral replication or transcription through epigenetic modifications. However, till date, no specific epigenetic function of IFI16 has been identified. Here, we have discovered that IFI16 recruits two histone methyltransferases on the KSHV episome leading to altered Histone H3K9 methylation, thus regulating its lifecycle.READ MORE
A new method for generating arrayed RNAi screening tools for any organismPoster
RNA interference (RNAi) using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) is an important technology for down-regulation of gene expression and a powerful tool to study cellular processes and pathways. Previously, large collections of siRNAs were available only for traditional experimental model systems, such as human and mouse, and predominantly provided as chemically synthesized libraries.READ MORE