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The function of small ribonucleic acid derived from the 5´ end of transfer ribonucleic acid (5´tRFs) in the regulation of gene expression and the control of the cell cycle

Funding: 2013: $114,348
2014: $112,335
2015: $124,617

Project Member(s): Hutvagner, G.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2013

Summary: We have recently discovered a new small RNA species that is processed from tRNAs. These RNAs seem to generally inhibit gene expression and they may inhibit cell transformation too. In this proposal we aim to identify the exact mechanism of how small tRNAs regulate gene expression and how they affect cell division, proliferation and transformation. This work will contribute to the better understanding of gene regulation mediated by small RNAs which is one of the most important theme of recent molecular biology studies.


Cropley, JE, Eaton, SA, Aiken, A, Young, PE, Giannoulatou, E, Ho, JWK, Buckland, ME, Keam, SP, Hutvagner, G, Humphreys, DT, Langley, KG, Henstridge, DC, Martin, DIK, Febbraio, MA & Suter, CM 2016, 'Male-lineage transmission of an acquired metabolic phenotype induced by grand-paternal obesity', Molecular Metabolism, vol. 5, no. 8, pp. 699-708.
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Keam, SP & Hutvagner, G 2015, 'tRNA-Derived Fragments (tRFs): Emerging New Roles for an Ancient RNA in the Regulation of Gene Expression.', Life, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 1638-1651.
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Keam, SP, Young, PE, McCorkindale, AL, Dang, THY, Clancy, JL, Humphreys, DT, Preiss, T, Hutvagner, G, Martin, DIK, Cropley, JE & Suter, CM 2014, 'The human Piwi protein Hiwi2 associates with tRNA-derived piRNAs in somatic cells', NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH, vol. 42, no. 14, pp. 8984-8995.
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Sobala, A & Hutvagner, GJ 2013, 'Small RNAs derived from the 5' end of tRNAs can inhibit protein translation in human cells', RNA Biology, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 553-563.
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Keywords: small RNA,gene expression,translation

FOR Codes: Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified, Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering