The genomic architecture of human nucleolar organiser regions and its role in nucleolar biology


  • Prof Brian McStay

    NUI Galway

Project summary

The nucleolus is the largest nuclear body and its primary role is ribosomal synthesis and assembly, though it also contributes to the cellular response to stress. The human genome contains approximately 300 ribosomal gene repeats, which are organised in tandem arrays at nucleolar organiser regions situated on the short p-arms of each of the five human acrocentric chromosomes. Professor McStay's research aims to determine how nucleolar organiser regions are arranged at a chromosomal level, how they direct formation of the nucleolus and how they regulate the function of nucleoli in human cells. He also plans to extend our understanding of the genomic architecture of the short arms of acrocentric chromosomes, as they are absent from the current human genome assembly.