University of Dundee

Investigating the regulation and therapeutic potential of the mRNA methyl cap


We investigate the regulation and function of the mRNA methyl cap, a modification of RNA essential for gene expression which integrates transcript processing and translation.  We are beginning to understand how oncogenes and signalling pathways can regulate gene expression via regulation of mRNA capping enzymes. Projects are available to investigate how cellular signalling pathways regulate the enzymes which catalyse methyl cap synthesis in primary cells (embryonic stem cells and T lymphocytes).  Signalling pathways which modify the mRNA methyl cap enzymes have the potential to change the gene expression landscape, thus causing changes in cell physiology.  Our research takes a comprehensive approach including biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology and mass spectrometry, taking advantage of the latest technologies and vast expertise available at the college of life sciences.  We collaborate with the Dundee Drug Discovery Unit to explore the therapeutic potential of inhibiting mRNA cap formation.