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Informal seminar - Anton Enright : Function and origin of murine long non-coding RNAs

When Jan 30, 2017
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where Genetics Part II Room
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Dr Anton Enright from the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge. Informal seminar at 14:00 in the Part II Room on Monday 30th January 2017.  Host: Michaela Frye


Our laboratory works on computational functional genomics of non-coding RNAs including microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs.  I will discuss recent work we have performed on trying to understand the significance and functional importance of lncRNAs. These RNAs tend to be less conserved and less expressed than protein coding genes and very few have well established functional roles. One project involves the detection of lncRNAs whose positions are conserved between human and mouse yet have little detectable sequence similarity. We show that expression of these  molecules are closely linked to their neighbouring protein coding genes and that they frequently occur around looping points in DNA. A second study involved very deep sequencing of the murine male germline to detect and predict known and novel lncRNAs expressed during spermatogenesis. We show a striking wave of non-coding transcription during spermatogenesis with a strong overlap for endogenous retroviral elements in the promoters of these molecules that appears to drive their transcription. Additionally, a number of these molecules although they do not exhibit computationally detectable hallmarks of protein-coding potential appear to produce peptides. We believe that ERVs in the germline explore transcriptional space and are
capable of activating pseudogenes and driving novel potentially protein-coding transcripts.