The role of microRNAs in Neural Crest Development (WHEELER_U17DTP2)

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs around 22 nucleotides long. They affect gene expression either by blocking translation of genes into protein or by causing the degradation of the mRNAs that they bind to. They are involved in controlling various mechanisms during development by affecting gene expression at the post transcriptional level. Neural Crest cells (NC) contribute to the formation of many organs in the body such as the peripheral nervous system, the cartilage of the face and pigment cells. They are therefore of importance for normal development and errors in their development are the cause of many birth defects. Additionally, NC cell types are also implicated in cancer. We have preliminarily identified two miRNAs in Xenopus laevis (African Clawed Frog) that play a role in NC development. In the proposed project the student will use bioinformatic and molecular methods including techniques such as Ago-CLIP to identify the target mRNAs that these miRNAs bind to. These targets will be validated using loss of function experiments in Xenopus to determine their function in NC development.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1916141 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Alice May Godden