Dana Hocková Lecture – Štěpánka Vaňáčová

16 May 2023
IOCB Prague
Dana Hocková Lecture – Štěpánka Vaňáčová

Prof. Štěpánka Vaňáčová (Central European Institute of Technology / CEITEC, Brno)


10 a.m., Scientific seminar: Stranger things – the unencoded part of RNA (Lecture Hall, Building A, 2nd floor) [no registration required]

3 p.m., Career workshop: Always look at the bright side of life (Club, Building A, 5th floor) [registration]

Abstract (Stranger things – the unencoded part of RNA)

Genomic DNA stores information for protein-coding and noncoding RNAs. However, the final gene expression and function of a given cell/tissue/organism depends on RNA features that are not encoded in the DNA genome but are deposited post-transcriptionally. These events include RNA splicing, trimming, extension and/or chemical modifications. Defects in the nonencoded parts of RNAs are often detrimental for survival, cause diseases in multicellular organisms or defects in development.

In the seminar, I will present two main projects of our lab; the role of nontemplated 3’ terminal nucleotide extensions (RNA tailing) in coding and noncoding RNAs and the internal N6 methyladenosine (m6A) marks in mRNAs. The 3’ RNA tails are typically deposited by the so called terminal nucleotidyltransferases (TENTs) with ATP or UTP specificity. We found out that these oligo(A) and oligo(U) tails play critical roles in ncRNA processing, stability and mediate RNA surveillance. The m6A marks and the corresponding enzymatic machineries have been linked to numerous roles in development, disease and infection. Interestingly, in mammals m6As can be removed by demethylases FTO and ALKBH5. By the combination of high-throughput approaches and detailed analyses we uncovered the role of the demethylase FTO in RNA metabolism but also in the regulation of genomic stability.

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