Gracjan Michlewski Laboratory

 

In all living organisms there is a process by which the genetic information, carried in the genes, is translated into the main building blocks of life – proteins. This process is mediated by RNA molecules, which play essential roles as messengers between the genes and the proteins.


Recently, it has been recognized that RNAs are not only mere messengers but also serve as active elements that control various processes in human cells. The major goal of my lab is to understand the roles of RNA-related pathways in human biology and disease.


My main research interests are associated with regulation of gene expression, RNA processing and innate immune response to RNA viruses. We discovered a number of factors and mechanisms that regulate production of miRNAs (short non-coding RNAs that control gene expression pathways). We demonstrated that E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM25 (a key player in innate immune response to RNA viruses) is a novel RNA-binding protein. Finally, we showed that Oleic Acid (a natural ω-9 monounsaturated fatty acid produced by various plants and animal cells) directly stimulates the production of tumour suppressor miRNA-7. These findings have far reaching consequences for our understanding of how RNA-binding proteins and metabolites regulate gene expression, RNA processing and innate immunity.