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Regulation of mRNA translation and decay

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The Bartel lab investigates the molecular pathways that regulate gene expression by affecting the stability or translation of mRNAs. One interest is microRNAs, which are small regulatory RNAs that typically direct the destruction of their target transcripts. This talk will describe how some unusual target transcripts direct the destruction of microRNAs, and the widespread use of this phenomenon to shape metazoan microRNA levels. MicroRNAs accelerate shortening of the poly(A) tails of their mRNA targets. In most contexts, tail shortening reduces mRNA stability, but in early development, it reduces mRNA translation. Indeed, mRNA-specific modulation of tail lengths in the cytoplasm—both tail lengthening as well as tail shortening—plays a widespread role in regulating mRNA translation in oocytes and early embryos. This talk will describe how these widespread changes in cytoplasmic tail-lengths are specified.

This talk is part of the MRC LMB Seminar Series series.

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