Intron and Ribosome Function

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Understanding the function of yeast intron

Deregulation of RNA stability is associated with several diseases, including cancer, and it is currently being exploited as a potential therapeutic tool.

For decades biologists around the world were asking the questions why genes are interrupted by introns and why this interruption is important for life. While most human genes contain introns only 4% of yeast genes are spliced. These stimulated scientists to suggest that introns are in their way out (removed) of the yeast genome and raised question about their necessity for cell function. Indeed, it is not clear whether introns are maintained for the value of their sequence or due to the contribution of the act of splicing to gene regulation.

We aim at evaluating the function of introns by eliminating all the introns from the yeast genome and create the first splicing free eukaryotic cell. During this process we generate a catalog of introns function and distinguish between functional sequence elements embedded intron and splicing dependent regulation of gene expression.

Currently, a big part of our effort is focused on understanding how introns regulate the expression of duplicated ribosomal protein genes and their role in modifying ribosome synthesis and function in response to stress.



Parenteau J, Durand M, Véronneau S, Lacombe AA, Morin G, Cecez B, Gervais-Bird J, Koh CS, Brunelle D, Wellinger RJ, Chabot B, Abou Elela S. Deletion of many yeast introns reveals a minority of genes that require splicing for function. Mol Biol Cell. 2008 ;19(5):1932-41

Parenteau J, Durand M, Morin G, Gagnon J, Lucier JF, Wellinger RJ, Chabot B, Elela SA.Introns within ribosomal protein genes regulate the production and function of yeast ribosomes. Cell. 2011; 147(2):320-31.