Given its role in all essential processes of life, today RNA can be considered as the most versatile regulatory factor in cellular metabolism. RNA molecules are involved in gene expression at all levels in Pro- and Eukaryotes, including chromatin remodelling (epigenetics), transcription, RNA stability, translation and post-translational events. RNA molecules can act as environmental sensors, whereby signalling is used to modulate gene expression. RNAs have been shown to modulate the activity of enzymes and other regulatory proteins, and are involved in protein-transport. Moreover, they are functional parts of macromolecular machines like ribosomes and spliceosomes. In most cases, RNAs require proteins, termed RNA chaperones, to attain a functional conformation.
The aim of this research program, which was launched in 2001, is to study how
- proteins govern RNA structure and function,
- mediate the interaction between nucleic acids, and
- how they catalyze RNA maturation and turnover.
The SFB activities can be roughly subdivided into 3 thematic areas,
- RNA chaperones and RNA folding,
- non-coding RNAs, and
- RNA maturation.