Epitranscriptomics in neuronal circuit formation

Year of award: 2015


  • Dr Shobbir Hussain

    University of Bath

Project summary

Recent technological advances have allowed us to gain sequence-specific information regarding the occurrence of RNA modifications in transcriptome-wide settings and this has led to the emergence of a new field of study called epitranscriptomics. The field is progressing rapidly and has already yielded important biological insights. I previously developed a technique called methylation-iCLIP (miCLIP) that was used to determine methyl-5-cytosine (m5C) modifications in RNAs at nucleotide-resolution and in an RNA methylase-specific manner. Our evidence suggests a likely biological role in regulating axon guidance during neuronal circuit formation. This current proposal will strengthen and further establish these preliminary findings. 

We will use Xenopus as a model system to examine the molecular roles of RNA modifications in controlling cue-dependent localised mRNA translation in axonal compartments and determine the physiological roles in terms of regulating axonal navigation decisions and synapse formation.

Although epitranscriptomics is a new area of study, we aim to promote this field into mainstream molecular genetics research.