The Biaffin GmbH & Co KG is one of nine European partners of a new EU "Specifically Targeted Research Project (STREP)" started on 1 st of January 2005 for a period of three years. The project is entitled "Function of small RNAs across kingdoms (FOSRAK)" to study the hitherto unrecognised cellular role of various classes of short non-coding RNAs in regulating gene expression in a variety of organisms across different biological kingdoms like eubacteria, protists, plants and animals.
The aim of this project is the advancement of knowledge of how these riboregulators and their interacting protein components are integrated into the general network of gene expression and in developmental processes. Little is known of how the short heterochromatic RNAs (sh RNAs) interact with chromatin, short interference RNAs (si RNAs) modulate mRNA stabiltity, micro RNAs (mi RNAs) influence the level of translation and small nucleolar RNAs (sno RNAs) are involved in postranscriptional modification of ribosomal and spliceosomal small nucleolar RNAs (sn RNAs). Small RNAs from pathogenic bacteria and human small RNAs that are implicated in human diseases and cancer formation are a special focus for future therapeutic intervention.
Biaffin provides the sophisticated instrumentation of surface plasmon resonance technology coupled to mass spectrometry (BIA-MS; BIA: biomolecular interaction analysis) to identify and kinetically characterise molecular targets of regulatory RNAs. To elucidate the mechanism of RNA interaction with their targets the structural and functional aspects of small regulatory RNAs has to be studied in detail. Innovation aspects will be created to use the BIA technology for studying RNA-RNA and RNA-protein interactions.
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