Identification of novel epigenetic pathways
The emerging field of Epitranscriptomics investigates how RNA modifications, which constitute an additional layer of information over the RNA sequence, influence gene expression, and ultimately, cellular function. RNA modifications have been proposed to play an important role in regulating RNA structure, stability, localization and translation. The major aim of my project is to investigate the role of mRNA methylation on RNA function and stability. This will be achieved by combining NGS-based sequencing techniques to map m6A modifications (in low to single cells) with metabolic labelling of RNA to determine the impact of m6A on RNA stability and degradation dynamics. Furthermore, we plan to investigate the crosstalk between environmental factors and RNA modifications, with the objective of answering the question of how changing environmental conditions affect the epitranscriptome. For this, I will use ES cell and mouse models, Crispr/Cas9/Cas13 mediated manipulations, advanced imaging techniques, biochemical approaches and in vitro assays.