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Elucidation of the evolution of post-transcriptional regulation by characterizing the cnidarian microRNA pathway

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 CNIDARIAMICRORNA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the CNIDARIAMICRORNA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "CNIDARIAMICRORNA" about.

transcriptional    cycle    techniques    evolution    vectensis    throughput    life    discovery    model    hydras    mirna    sea    decade    perfect    cnidaria    vertebrates    mrna    insects    corals    molecular    suggest    hyl1    species    roles    carry    post    sequencing    bilaterian    function    shown    excellent    homolog    micrornas    genome    small    pivotal    rna    found    grown    existed    understand    raises    gene    biochemical    protection    immunoprecipitation    match    functions    ancient    members    cleavage    first    mechanism    sirnas    hence    time    plants    bilateria    exclusively    indicate    transgenesis    anemones    play    knockdown    plant    frequently    biogenesis    jellyfish    nematostella    array    possibility    anemone    regulation    mode    interfering    nearly    action    over    rnas    almost    animals    rare    obtain    manipulation    preliminary    ancestor    lab    deep    genetic    insights    nematodes    form    age    phyla    protein    mirnas    physiological    ing    ancestral    messenger   

Project "CNIDARIAMICRORNA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 91904

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙499˙587 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙587 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-05-01   to  2020-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Over the past decade small RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have been shown to carry pivotal roles in post-transcriptional regulation and genome protection and to play an important part in various physiological processes in animals. miRNAs can be found in a very wide range of animals yet their functions were studied almost exclusively in members of the Bilateria such as insects, nematodes and vertebrates. Hence studying their function in representatives of non-bilaterian phyla such as Cnidaria (sea anemones, corals, hydras and jellyfish) is crucial for understanding the evolution of miRNAs in animals and can provide important insights into their roles in the ancient ancestor of Cnidaria and Bilateria. The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis is an excellent model for such a study since it can be grown in large numbers throughout its life cycle in the lab and because well-established genetic manipulation techniques are available for this species. Our preliminary results indicate that miRNAs in Nematostella frequently have a nearly perfect match to their messenger RNA (mRNA) targets, resulting in cleavage of the target. This mode of action is common for plant miRNAs, but is very rare in Bilateria. This finding together with my recent discovery of a Nematostella homolog of HYL1, a protein involved in miRNA biogenesis in plants, raises the exciting possibility that the miRNA pathway existed in the common ancestor of plants and animals. Here I suggest to bring together an array of advanced biochemical and genetic methods such as gene knockdown, transgenesis, high throughput sequencing and immunoprecipitation in order to obtain - for the first time - a deep understanding of the biogenesis and mechanism of action of small RNAs in Cnidaria. This will provide a novel way to understand the evolution of this important molecular pathway and to evaluate its age and ancestral form.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Vengamanaidu Modepalli, Yehu Moran
Evolution of miRNA Tailing by 3′ Terminal Uridylyl Transferases in Metazoa
published pages: 1547-1560, ISSN: 1759-6653, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evx106
Genome Biology and Evolution 9/6 2019-05-28
2017 Daniela Praher, Bob Zimmermann, Grigory Genikhovich, Yaara Columbus-Shenkar, Vengamanaidu Modepalli, Reuven Aharoni, Yehu Moran, Ulrich Technau
Characterization of the piRNA pathway during development of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis
published pages: 1727-1741, ISSN: 1547-6286, DOI: 10.1080/15476286.2017.1349048
RNA Biology 14/12 2019-05-28
2017 Marta Mauri, Marieluise Kirchner, Reuven Aharoni, Camilla Ciolli Mattioli, David van den Bruck, Nadya Gutkovitch, Vengamanaidu Modepalli, Matthias Selbach, Yehu Moran, Marina Chekulaeva
Conservation of miRNA-mediated silencing mechanisms across 600 million years of animal evolution
published pages: 938-950, ISSN: 0305-1048, DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkw792
Nucleic Acids Research 45/2 2019-05-28
2017 Yehu Moran, Maayan Agron, Daniela Praher, Ulrich Technau
The evolutionary origin of plant and animal microRNAs
published pages: 27, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-016-0027
Nature Ecology & Evolution 1/3 2019-05-28

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