Multi-omic analysis of epigenetics and RNA modifications

15th November 2018.  
Luca Pandolfini, University of Cambridge, UK

On the 15th of November 2018 Luca Pandolfini of the Gurdon's Institute at the UUniversity of Cambridge will give a seminar entitled Multi-omic analysis of epigenetics and RNA modifications at 2.00 pm in the College lecture theatre.  In his talk L Pandolfini will discuss how a multi-omic approach may offer a robust path to the discovery of important celllular regulatory mechanisms based on epigenetics or RNA modifications.This is a novel and powerful approach to the study of developmental and disease processes and all College students are invited to attend, especially those reading Medicine, Biology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The poster of the lecture can be downloaded here.

To unravel the complexity of cell systems it is necessary to comprehensively consider as many descriptors of a cell state as possible (e.g. RNA expression, miRNA and protein levels, and mRNA loading on RISC complex or on translating ribosomes). This talk presents an overview of different projects distilled from a multi-omic approach, which allowed the identification of unexpected yet interesting molecular mechanisms. These include the maintenance of ground state pluripotency via mRNA translation control (1) and the role of METTL3 methyltransferase in sustaining AML leukaemia (2). I will provide a brief historical context to RNA modifications and I will also present unpublished data regarding how m7G methylation of miRNAs controls cancer cell migration.

L Pandolfini obtained his PhD from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in 2015, under the supervision of Prof. Federico Cremisi, with a project aimed at dissecting the miRNA-mediated translation control of stem cell priming to differentiation (1). The same year he moved to the Gurdon Instute, Cambridge (UK) to work as a Research Associate in Tony kouzarides' lab. Has been studying the novel field of RNA modification epigenetics (or 'epitranscriptomics'). In particular, the focus of his post-doctoral research has been the development of new 'wet' and bioinformatic techniques for mapping RNA modifications, in order to study their role in cancer biology (2).

[1] Pandolfini et al., 2016 RISC-mediated control of selected chromatin regulators stabilizes ground state pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells - Genome Biol. 2016 May 6; doi: 10.1186/s13059-016-0952-x.
[2] Barbieri et al., 2017 Promoter-bound METTL3 maintains myeloid leukaemia by m6A-dependent translation control - Nature. 2017 Dec 7;552(7683):126-131. doi: 10.1038/nature24678.

A short RNA molecule forming an RNA duplex.  These short regulatory RNAs can alter the fate of RNA transcripts and hence gene expression.

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