The Regulation of Eukaryotic Gene Expression
We are interested in how eukaryotic cells regulate their gene expression programs, focusing most particularly on the post-transcriptional steps.
A first research topic in the laboratory is focused on the study the the S.cerevisiae homolog of RNase III, a model enzyme to understand the function of a double-stranded RNA endonuclease in the biology of eukaryotic cells. We have shown that this enzyme is implicated in the processing of a large number of non coding RNAs, as well as in the surveillance of many mRNAs, including some controlling iron uptake. Genomic studies are being performed to understand the genomic targets of this enzyme as well as other ribonucleases.
A second research topic is focused on the biogenesis of small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein particles (snoRNPs). Box H/ACA snoRNPs are crucial molecules in the metabolism of ribosomal RNA, and this class of snoRNPs has gained widespread interest since it was discovered that mutations within H/ACA snoRNP components lead to the genetic disease dyskeratosis congenita. We have discovered a novel complex of two yeast proteins that are required for the biogenesis of box H/ACA snoRNPs. Our current work is focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which these proteins promote the assembly of the snoRNP.