Reseach area B:
microRNA dependent control of gene regulatory networks in metabolism and stress resistance

Research area B focuses on the metabolic aspect of ageing and stress resistance and the control of metabolism and stress resistance through non-coding RNAs.

In particular, the role of microRNAs as modulators of gene regulatory networks is investigated. MicroRNAs are approximately 20-25 nucleotide long non-coding RNAs that bind by partial complementarity to the 3´-UTR of target mRNAs. MicroRNAs are conserved in metazoans and have have emerged as important regulators in development, disease, metabolism and ageing. However, compared to protein-coding genes, the role of microRNAs in these regulatory processes is still poorly understood. In this research area data from three different model organisms, C. elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, and the mouse have been generated and the different datasets will be used for cross-species comparisons. To get an even more complete view of gene regulation this will be complemeted by an integration of (tissue-specific) transcriptome, translatome and proteome data to assess the relevance of the different layers of gene regulation in long-lived vs. wildtype flies.