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microRNAs, circular RNAs, and micropeptides

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We and others have recently identified tens of thousands of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in animal cells. Their extraordinary stability and differential expression makes them interesting biomarker candidates. I will update on our efforts to trace circRNA expression across tissues and evolution, and our attempts to understand more about biogenesis and possible function of circRNAs.

I will then discuss our attempts to identify functional “micropeptides”, small ORFs which until very recently have escaped genome annotation efforts. Our data argue that numerous so-called long-noncoding RNAs (“lincRNAs”) in fact encode small, functionally important micropeptides.

Finally I will present a method that allows us to biochemically map tens of thousands of miRNA:target RNA duplexes context-dependent and in vivo. These data enabled us to get new insights into principles of miRNA target recognition.

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

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