Codon Optimality in Vertebrates
We seek to understand what dictates the stability and the level of translation of messenger RNA (mRNA) in vertebrates. In particular, we are decoding the regulatory information encrypted across the ENTIRE mRNA. And while we are interested in the canonical regulatory mechanism by which proteins (e.g. RNA binding proteins) or microRNAs recognize regulatory elements in the 3’UTRs, we are also very interested in the regulatory information encrypted in the coding region, and more precisely, in the genetic code. We have demonstrated that mRNA translation strongly affects mRNA stability in a codon-dependent manner. In sum, we seek to understand how mRNA stability and translation is regulated during embryogenesis and how that may affect human diseases.