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Investigating the function of Myl9 in development and inflammation

Investigating the function of Myl9 in development and inflammation

PhD/Honours project

We have discovered that Drosha, one of the RNase III enzymes necessary for microRNA biogenesis, can also directly regulate the stability of certain protein-coding messenger RNAs. However, this occurs independently of microRNAs. Instead, Drosha recognises and cleaves stem-loop structures within the target messenger RNA. This cleavage function is critical in haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), where it functions to inhibit the expression of the gene Myl9. In addition to a role in HSCs, studies have implicated Myl9 in various disease conditions, including airway and intestinal inflammation. Myl9 is predicted to interact with non-muscle myosin, but whether this actually occurs remains unknown. The goal of this project is to determine the physiological role of Myl9 in stem cells and/or inflammation. Moreover, it will be important to determine if Myl9 does indeed function as part of the non-muscle myosin machinery. This project will analyse Myl9 knockout mice, and will also employ biochemical and imaging techniques to investigate molecular function.

Supervised by:

  • Associate Professor Mark Chong
  • Disease Focus:

  • Cancer
  • Research Unit:

  • Genomics & immunology