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CSIR Network Project on "Comparative Genomics of non-coding RNA"

Majority of the genome is made up of non-coding regions, some in close vicinity and functionally related to protein coding regions, like the untranslated regions of the mRNA, and others that have apparently no protein products even when they can give rise to RNA transcripts. Conservation in the non-coding region, indicates their functional role and recently the widespread regulatory reach of these molecules have come to light following identification of a large number of non coding RNA molecules which can modulate the expression of protein coding genes.

Origin of the project:

Computational analysis of genomic information carried out at the nodal laboratory, IGIB, gave early leads on miRNA mediated regulation in a number of key areas pertaining to molecular medicine. This project aims to explore the functional relevance of these early leads using experimental approaches towards understanding the regulatory potential of these small regulatory RNA molecules. Besides this focus on human disease, the project is also expected to improve our understanding of these new players in gene regulation.

The project is set up to tap into the expertise of several groups at IGIB with core expertise in human genetics, disease related phenomena like apoptosis and the functional genomics of zebrafish. Furthermore, the project will bring together the expertise of members from other CSIR labs: IICT will adapt their experience in targeted delivery of DNA for ncRNA delivery; IICB will explore small RNA-ligand interaction to develop novel molecules to target RNA and NCL will contribute their expertise in developing modified backbone nucleic acids for small RNA detection and targeting. The participating labs will interact with IGIB to test the biological effect of tools and reagents developed by them.