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Modul A16: RNA Biologie

Lecture RNA Biology

VL1 The RNA World

History of the “RNA world hypothesis”. Prebiotic evolution. The primordial broth. Why do we regard RNA as a first “living” molecule? Arguments against the “RNA world hypothesis”

VL2 RNA-Structures

What are RNAs made of? How do RNA structures come about? How can RNA structures be predicted computationally?

VL 3 Ribozymes

Types of natural catalytic RNAs and their structures. Features of small ribozymes. The hammerhead ribozyme. The hepatitis delta ribozyme. Large ribozymes: RNAse P; The ribosome.

VL 4 RNA-Splicing

The discovery of splicing. Group I and group II introns. Splicing chemistry. Evolution of splicing. The spliceosome. SnRNAs and SNURPS. RNA chaperones.

VL5 Alternative Splicing / RNA-Editing

RNA processing increases the variability of the human proteome. RNA binding proteins and alternative RNA splicing: Drosophila sex determination. What is RNA editing. A-to-I RNA editing. C-to-U RNA editing. RNA editing and disease.

VL 6 tRNAs, rRNAs and their Modifications

Transcription and maturation of tRNAs. tRNA structure, tRNA splicing and base modifications. tRNAs and cancer. rRNA structure, rRNA maturation and base modifications. snoRNAs and scaRNAs. The telomerase RNA subunit. Histone mRNA maturation.

VL 7 Nuclear RNA bodies, NMD and P-Bodies

Nucleolus and ribosome biogenesis. Cajal Bodies and SNURP biogenesis. Speckles and splicing. P-Bodies and RNA degradation. How are eukaryotic RNAs degraded?

VL 8 regulatory trans-ncRNAs (Eukaryotes)

The Ribonome. Human RNAs with accelerated evolution. Xist and X chromosome inactivation in placentalia. roX and X chromosome activation in Drosophila.ncRNAs in genomic imprinting processes.Natural antisense RNAs. 7S RNA. tmRNA.

VL 9 Riboswitches, bacterial ncRNAs

Riboswitsches versus riboregulators. Structure of a riboswitch.Thiamin pyrophosphate riboswitch. Glycine riboswitch.Thermoriboswitch.Cooperative riboswitsches. Riboregulators and stress response in bacteria. The dsrA ncRNA. How do riboregulators function in bacteria on a molecular level?

VL 10 miRNAs

Expression of miRNAs. Biogenesis of miRNAs. Molecualr functions of miRNAs: Translational repression versus RNA destabilization? Localization of miRNAs. miRNAs as genetic switches. miRNAs as mediators of robustness of gene expression.

VL 11 RNAi

History of the discovery of RNAi. The components of the RNAi machinery: siRNAs, Dicer, RISC complex, RdRPs. Transitivity of siRNAs. Functions of RNAi: antiviral response, silencing of transposable elements, heterochromatin formation (transcriptional gene silencing), gene regulation (endogenous siRNAs; tasiRNAs).

VL 12 RNA-Viruses RNA-Transport

Advantages of RNA viruses over DNA viruses. H5N1. RNA export: nuclear mRNA export. Intracellular transport (examples: transport in axons; bicoid mRNA in Drosophila embryos; ASH1 mRNA into the yeast bud). Transport machineries. Intercellular transport.

VL 13 Applied RNA biology

RNA in therapy: advantages and disadvantages. Using RNA’s propensity to hybridize specifically to target nucleic acids. Using RNA’s propensity to act as aptamers for almost any epitope. Using catalytic properties of ribozymes.

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