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The experiments have been carried out using Xenopus laevis oocytes (Image: microscopy, Eulàlia Belloc).

Towards a deeper understanding of genome regulation

The journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology has published a paper on the regulation of mRNA translation by researchers from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) at the Barcelona Science Park. The study reveals new insights into translation regulation, an essential step in genome regulation. These findings will help researchers to better understand pathological processes such as cancer. 


Translation regulation—the process by which the amount of protein synthesized from its messenger RNA (mRNA) is controlled—is a crucial step in establishing the degree of gene expression during events such as cell proliferation, differentiation, development, nervous system function, as well as in diseases like cancer. Compared to transcriptional regulation, the translational control of existing mRNAs­—RNAs are the molecules that carry genetic information for protein synthesis—allows a faster response to stimuli. .in the Translational Control of Cell Cycle and Differentiation Laboratory

The study –performed by researchers in the Translational Control of Cell Cycle and Differentiation Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, and headed by ICREA Research Professor Raúl Méndez– reveals the interplay between the proteins CPEB1 and Musashi1 (Msi1) in the regulation of mRNA translation. The findings described in this work deepen knowledge of the combinatorial code, allowing researchers to better understand diseases such as cancer—a process in which this translational regulation is altered.


For further information: IRB Barcelona website [+]

► Reference article: Laure Weill, Eulàlia Belloc, Chiara Lara Castellazzi and Raúl Méndez. “Musashi 1 regulates the timing and extent of meiotic mRNA translational activation by promoting the use of specific CPEs“. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology (2017). doi:10.1038/nsmb.3434