How the fate of proteins and RNAs is regulated is critical to understanding cellular, tissue and organismal biology as well as disease. We combine expertise on post-transcriptional and post-translational control of gene regulation with structural biology, computational biology and genomic medicine to dissect the processes involved.
Our research spans diverse systems and areas of biology investigating how the fate of different proteins and RNA molecules are regulated and contribute to cellular physiology and pathology.
We use a range of systems including, various tissue culture models, yeast, zebrafish, worms and drosophila to study:
- RNA processing, localisation and stability;
- Cellular responses to stress;
- Protein targeting and sorting;
- Protein synthesis and folding;
- Global regulation at the protein and RNA level.
Major research activities
RNA processing, localisation and stability
RNA serves critical functions- both as a source of information and more directly in catalysis and regulation. We study how RNA functions can be controlled in terms of RNA processing and modification, the position of RNA within the cell and the level to which the RNA is targeted by the degradation machinery.
Cellular responses to stress
Cells are exposed to a host of insults including nutritional stress, oxidative stress and viral infection. We dissect the mechanisms and adaptive responses that cells and tissues employ to counteract and overcome these conditions.
Protein sorting and quality control
The modification, subcellular delivery, membrane insertion and sorting of proteins determine function and facilitate biological control. By investigating specific models, we will establish how these processes regulate the activity and fate of different proteins. These fundamental ground rules will give us a molecular understanding of their proteome wide contribution in a cellular context.
Protein synthesis and folding
The synthesis and correct folding of proteins is critical to life. Many diseases are associated with defects in these processes and the capacity to regulate protein production is crucial to synthetic biology. We explore the machinery, mechanism and regulation of protein synthesis and folding with a particular focus on human disease and biotechnology.
Global regulation at the protein and RNA level
Proteomics and transcriptomic technologies are revolutionising our understanding of how gene expression is controlled. Key to these technologies has been the development of tools to enable the interpretation of large datasets. We study large datasets using computational approaches to infer a deep-rooted understanding of biology at a genome-wide scale.
Article / A known pathogenic variant in the essential mitochondrial translation gene RMND1 causes a Perrault-like syndrome with renal defects.
Article / Dynamic changes in eIF4F-mRNA interactions revealed by global analyses of environmental stress responses.
Discover more about some of our key researchers making outstanding contributions to research in protein and RNA fate.
View a list of our principal investigators to identify which work in your field of interest.
Professor Stephen High
Professor of Biochemistry
Stephen High is a Professor of Biochemistry and a Wellcome Trust Investigator. Research in his lab aims to understand how proteins are inserted into lipid bilayers to form biologically functional membranes.
Dr Ray O’keefe
Ray O’keefe is a Senior lecturer who studies how mRNA is processed using yeast as a model. His recent work has exploited this system to identify mechanistic consequences underlying specific human disease mutations.
Professor Simon Hubbard
Professor of Computational Biology
Simon Hubbard is a Professor in Computational Biology. His main research focus at present is on quantitative proteomics: how can we measure the levels of all the individual proteins in cells, and understand how levels change under different conditions.
Dr Shane Herbert
Shane Herbert is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow. His research aims to explain the mechanisms and timing cell of identity decisions during blood vessel formation in zebrafish. He has a particular interest in the role of RNA localisation in these processes.
Individual group leaders within the protein and RNA fate research area have PhD studentship projects as part of the following funded programmes:
- BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
- Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD Programme in Molecular and Cell Biology (WTMCB)
- Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD Programme in Quantitative and Biophysical Biology (WTQBB)
- A*STAR PhD programme (Singapore)
- Weizmann Institute of Science PhD programme (Israel)