The human genome contains about 22,000 protein-coding genes, far less than expected for such a complex organism. With this limited genetic framework, it is not surprising that humans have evolved complex RNA-based genetic and epigenetic regulations. In fact, the human genome contains tens of thousands of RNA sequences that do not translate into proteins. Instead, these RNA help regulate gene expression at transcriptional, co-transcriptional, and post-transcriptional levels.
How our research helps improve health
RNA-based gene silencing is involved in almost every aspect of biology, including development, stem cell biology, disease progression and pathogenesis, immunity, inflammation, and cancer. Researchers in the RNA Biology Program hope that cracking the RNA code will lead to advances in treating many human diseases.