The aim of our research is to understand the different functions of small RNAs – in the developing organism and as a defense system against pathogenic bacteria. Small RNAs are important regulators of most biological processes. These tiny 21 nt RNAs silence genes by guiding effector proteins to specific target (m)RNAs and thereby induce degradation, inhibit translation, or even turn off transcription. However, details of their underlying mechanisms are still obscure. In our research we use the amoeba Dictyostelium to study functions of small RNAs during growth and development. We also use Dictyostelium as a host model to explore small RNAs involvement in the infectious process when pathogenic bacteria, such as Mycobacteria, attack our cells.
Read about our ongoing research.