Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Department of Biology, Zurich, Switzerland
RNA interference and genome integrity
The first report of RNA interference (RNAi) in 1998 and the discovery of its effector molecules –the small interfering (si)RNAs, have revolutionized our views of gene regulation in many organisms. Since then, the biological importance of newly discovered classes of silencing small RNAs and, indeed, of other non-coding RNAs, has been evidenced through a staggering array of publications implicating these molecules in virtually all aspects of biology. It is thus understandable that perturbations incurred to the expression or activity of silencing small RNAs may have considerably deleterious effects that include genetic and epigenetic instability, sterility and loss of cellular identity. In addition, genetic lesions in small RNA genes have been implicated in several human disorders. The overall research interest of the laboratory is to determine the fundamental genetic, biochemical, epigenetic mechanisms that regulate genome integrity through the study of transposable elements and RNA interference pathways and by exploiting the mouse Embryonic Stem Cells (mESCs) system as an in vitro model for differentiation and development.
People involved in the EpiGeneSys projects:
- Jian Yu, PhD