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Mechanisms of RNA-guided genome editing in eukaryotes

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "G-EDIT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BERN
postcode: 3012

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 Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 1˙953˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙953˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-05-01   to  2021-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAET BERN CH (BERN) coordinator 1˙953˙000.00


 Project objective

The goal of this project is to contribute to our understanding of RNA-mediated epigenetic mechanisms of genome regulation in eukaryotes. Ciliated protozoa offer a fantastic opportunity to investigate the complex process of trans-generational programming of chromosomal rearrangements, which is thought to serve as a form of immune defense against invasive DNA. Developmental processes in ciliates include extensive rearrangements of the germline DNA, including elimination of transposons and the precise excision of numerous single-copy elements derived from transposons. This process is considered to be maternally controlled because the maternal genome provides essential information in the form of RNA that determines the offspring's genome content and organization. This programmed DNA subtraction, the so-called ‘RNA scanning’ process, is mediated by trans-generational comparison between the germline and the maternal somatic genome. One of the most intriguing questions is how a complex population of small RNAs representing the entire germline genome can be compared to the entire rearranged maternal genome, resulting in the efficient selection of germline-specific RNAs, which are able to target DNA deletions in the developing genome. All this occurs in a very short time and involves a massively coordinated transport of all the components between three types of nuclei. This project focuses on characterizing the molecular machinery that can orchestrate the massive genome rearrangements in ciliates through nucleic acids and protein interactions. It also addresses the question how RNA targets DNA cleavage at the right place. In addition, this project aims to investigate the role of RNA in guiding chromosomal rearrangements in other eukaryotic systems, particularly in human cancer cells where genome editing often occurs on a large scale. This work may be the first step in providing novel insights into the process of programmed DNA rearrangements in higher eukaryotes.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Aditi Singh, Adrienne Vancura, Rafal K. Woycicki, Daniel J. Hogan, Alan G. Hendrick, Mariusz Nowacki
Determination of the presence of 5-methylcytosine in Paramecium tetraurelia
published pages: e0206667, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206667
PLOS ONE 13/10 2019-10-09
2018 Cristina Hoehener, Iris Hug, Mariusz Nowacki
Dicer-like Enzymes with Sequence Cleavage Preferences
published pages: , ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.02.029
Cell 2019-06-19
2017 Dominique I. Furrer, Estienne C. Swart, Matthias F. Kraft, Pamela Y. Sandoval, Mariusz Nowacki
Two Sets of Piwi Proteins Are Involved in Distinct sRNA Pathways Leading to Elimination of Germline-Specific DNA
published pages: 505-520, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.06.050
Cell Reports 20/2 2019-06-19
2017 Allen, Sarah E.; Hug, Iris; Pabian, Sylwia; Rzeszutek, Iwona; Hoehener, Cristina; Nowacki, Mariusz
Circular Concatemers of Ultra-Short DNA Segments Produce Regulatory RNAs
published pages: , ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.7892/boris.97052
Cell 1 2019-06-19
2017 Estienne C. Swart, Cyril Denby Wilkes, Pamela Y. Sandoval, Cristina Hoehener, Aditi Singh, Dominique I. Furrer, Miroslav Arambasic, Michael Ignarski, Mariusz Nowacki
Identification and analysis of functional associations among natural eukaryotic genome editing components
published pages: 1374, ISSN: 2046-1402, DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.12121.1
F1000Research 6 2019-06-19

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