How did you get so put together? DNA is the blueprint, but it doesn’t determine everything. DNA gets turned into RNA, and then finally into proteins that help build your body and brain. But there are SO many steps in that process that affect the final product- you. The sum of these steps is a process called genetic regulation. Genetic regulation makes sure that not all of our genes are expressed and turned into protein at the same time and same place- that would be a mess!
This episode is all about genetic regulation by long, non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs, pronounced “link-R N A”). LncRNAs are long segments of RNA that serve non-traditional functions in the genome. Although recently discovered, lncRNAs seem to be involved in everything from the genetic regulation of development to diseases like cancer. LncRNAs could help rewrite the field of genetic regulation, and might be the biggest shift to understanding genetics since epigenetics became a hot topic.
Rachel is also highly involved in other forms of science communication! Check out the Pipettepen and UNC SWAC for more info! If you’re at UNC, make sure to check TIBBS for career training and opportunities.
Specific visual references and their approximate timestamps are listed below. Make sure to watch the Youtube Video for the full experience!
- 5:00: DNA vs RNA vs Protein – (image in video)
- 7:30: Alternative splicing – (image in video)
- 9:00: Jimena giudice lab at UNC – http://giudicelab.web.unc.edu/ (Alternative splicing and intracellular trafficking in development and diseases)
- 9:30: It’s estimated that >90% of proteins undergo alternative splicing
- 13:30: protein coding gene structure (image in video)
- 15:30: Additional note: smaller ncRNAs have more defined structure than lncRNAs, their functions are better known
- 17:33: dosage compensation – calico cats (image in video)
- 20:50: An example of a motif that proteins recognize (http://www.rnajournal.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=31097619, figure 3 )
- 21:00: xist repeat structure (https://www.mdpi.com/2311-553X/4/4/28/htm, figure 2, human vs mouse xist)
- 23:00:in cis lncRNA function (https://dev.biologists.org/content/143/21/3882, figure 2 b and c)
- 25:05: Markers are placed on histones, rather than DNA. Histones are proteins that DNA wraps around to compact dna into cells (image in video)
- 25:30: A note: polycomb complexes are conserved to plants and even fungi. lncRNAs can be found in plants*
- 28:15: immunoprecipitation pipeline (image in video)
- 31:30 -33:35: Examples of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) (image in video)
- 35:00: Enhancer rnas (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1672022917300761 figure 1
- 38:30: single line RNA vs double line DNA, 3DRNA structure (image in video)
- 41:00: xist vs rsx (http://www.rnajournal.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=31097619, figure 6b )
- 42:30: SWAC /pipettepen,com – link to swac article that prompted this podcast –http://www.thepipettepen.com/what-determines-our-complexity/
- 44:30: TIBBS –https://tibbs.unc.edu/
- Lastly, due to the current situation of events concerning COVID-19, all pending conferences discussed in this episode are cancelled or suspended indefinitely. Please stay safe!