Group Leader

Dr. Valérie Hilgers
Dr. Valérie Hilgers
Group Leader

Lab Valérie Hilgers

Laboratory Valérie Hilgers

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Function of alternative 3’ UTRs in neuronal processes

A network of crossregulation at play in neuronal mRNA processingTranscripts with alternative, extended 3’ UTRs are specifically expressed in neurons, and typically encode important effector proteins of various steps of mRNA metabolism (a few examples are represented). Zoom Image

A network of crossregulation at play in neuronal mRNA processing

Transcripts with alternative, extended 3’ UTRs are specifically expressed in neurons, and typically encode important effector proteins of various steps of mRNA metabolism (a few examples are represented).

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mRNAs carrying an extended 3’ UTR are specific to the nervous system, in particular neurons. Alternative 3’ UTRs are extraordinarily long, and highly enriched in binding motifs for RNA-binding proteins and microRNAs.

Deleting part of the alternative sequences can cause serious neurological phenotypes such as progressive neurodegeneration. We aim to establish the functional and mechanistic impact of alternative 3’ UTRs on neuronal function. Approaches include functional genetics and in vivo analysis, single-molecule live imaging, genomics and transcriptomics.

Global regulation of RNA processes in neurons

It is striking that hundreds of alternative 3’ UTRs are synthesized at the same time, in the same place, and contain common regulatory elements. Most of these mRNAs in turn encode crucial RNA regulators, which suggests that a network of cross-regulation between alternative mRNAs and RNA-binding proteins supports neural function. We will unravel this network using a systems biology approach applying neuron biochemistry, whole-genome analyses and functional genetics.

 
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