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BioE Seminar Series: The Secret Life of Introns

Sep 16

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Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Tracy Johnson


Tracy Johnson, PhD, Keith and Cecilia Terasaki Presidential Endowed Chair in Life Sciences, Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, HHMI Professor, University of California-Los Angeles

Pre-messenger RNA splicing is carried out by the spliceosome, a large ribonucleoprotein complex that is functionally conserved across eukaryotes. The spliceosome assembles onto pre-mRNA co-transcriptionally, raising important questions about how the process of transcription through a chromatin template influences spliceosome assembly and splicing outcomes. Moreover, regulation of the fate of both spliced and, unexpectedly, the unspliced RNA provides an elegant mechanism for controlling gene expression. Here we show that regulated intron removal and regulation of the fate of unspliced RNAs are crucial for the cell's response to its environment, with important implications for human health.