The multi-faceted RNA molecule : Characterization and Function in the regulation of Gene Expression

by Ensterö, Mats

Abstract (Summary)
In this thesis I have studied the RNA molecule and its function and characteristics in the regulation of gene expression. I have focused on two events that are important for the regulation of the transcriptome: Translational regulation through micro RNAs; and RNA editing through adenosine deaminations.Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are ~22 nucleotides long RNA molecules that by semi complementarity bind to untranslated regions of a target messenger RNA (mRNA). The interaction manifests through an RNA/protein complex and act mainly by repressing translation of the target mRNA. I have shown that a pre-cursor miRNA molecule have significantly different information content of sequential composition of the two arms of the pre-cursor hairpin. I have also shown that sequential composition differs between species.Selective adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a post-transcriptional process whereby highly specific adenosines in a (pre-)messenger transcript are deaminated to inosines. The deamination is carried out by the ADAR family of proteins and require a specific sequential and structural landscape for target recognition. Only a handful of messenger substrates have been found to be site selectively edited in mammals. Still, most of these editing events have an impact on neurotransmission in the brain.In order to find novel substrates for A-to-I editing, an experimental setup was made to extract RNA targets of the ADAR2 enzyme. In concert with this experimental approach, I have constructed a computational screen to predict specific positions prone to A-to-I editing.Further, I have analyzed editing in the mouse brain at four different developmental stages by 454 amplicon sequencing. With high resolution, I present data supporting a general developmental regulation of A-to-I editing. I also present data of coupled editing events on single RNA transcripts suggesting an A-to-I editing mechanism that involve ADAR dimers to act in concert. A different editing pattern is seen for the serotonin receptor 5-ht2c.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Chemistry; Biochemistry; Molecular biology; Molecular biology; Computational Biology; Molecular Biology; molekylärbiologi


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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