Mechanisms and coordination of gene expression processes

The expression of genetic information as functional RNAs and proteins is essential for cell metabolism and defines cellular identity. Gene expression involves transcription, pre-mRNA splicing, nucleocytoplasmic transport, tRNA maturation, ribosome assembly, translation and RNA decay. The precise and dynamic regulation of these processes is essential to ensure efficient and faithful gene expression. Reprogramming of gene expression is critical for cellular adaptation and its dysregulation underlies many diseases.

We explore the mechanisms and regulation of different gene expression processes. Alongside dissecting the biogenesis pathways, molecular functions and dynamics of various ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs), a core interest of our group is deciphering the interconnections between different aspects of gene expression and understanding how they allow cross-regulation of these processes. We utilize a broad spectrum of molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology methods, employ various transcriptome-/proteome-wide approaches and engage in interdisciplinary collaborations to address our research aims. We have a particular interest in understanding how RNA helicases structurally remodel RNAs/RNPs and thus contribute to the dynamic regulation of gene expression processes. Another key focus of our research is on RNA modifications, where we aim to uncover the enzymes responsible for installing (and dynamically removing) them as well as elucidating how, on the molecular level, they influence RNA function and fate.

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