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PIWI-Chrom SIGNED

Understanding small RNA-mediated transposon control at the level of chromatin in the animal germline

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EC-Contrib. €

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Project "PIWI-Chrom" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.

Coordinator
INSTITUT FUER MOLEKULARE BIOTECHNOLOGIE GMBH 

Organization address
address: DR BOHRGASSE 3
city: WIEN
postcode: 1030
website: www.imba.oeaw.ac.at

contact info
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name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
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 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Total cost 1˙999˙530 €
 EC max contribution 1˙999˙530 € (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 2016-07-01   to  2021-06-30

 Partnership

Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    INSTITUT FUER MOLEKULARE BIOTECHNOLOGIE GMBH AT (WIEN) coordinator 1˙999˙530.00

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 Project objective

Transposable elements—universal components of genomes—pose a major threat to genome integrity due to their mutagenic character. In all eukaryotic lineages small RNA pathways act as defense systems to protect the host genome against the activity of transposons. The central pathway in animals is the gonad-specific PIWI interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway, one of the most elaborate but also least understood small RNA silencing systems.

Here I propose to study the interplay between the piRNA pathway and chromatin biology in Drosophila with two aims: First, we will identify the factors and investigate the processes that underlie piRNA-guided silencing in the nucleus. Our objective is to understand how recruitment of an Argonaute protein to a nascent RNA mechanistically leads to the assembly of effector proteins that govern heterochromatin formation and transcriptional silencing. Second, we will study the biology of piRNA clusters, heterochromatic loci that encompass a library of transposon fragments and that act as the pathway’s memory system. Our goal is to uncover how a group of proteins—several of which are germline-specific variants of basic cellular factors—enable transcription within heterochromatin and control the downstream fate of the emerging non-coding RNAs.

Our work centers on the piRNA pathway in Drosophila ovaries, undeniably the model system at the forefront of the field. By combining the strength of fly genetics with the power of genome-wide approaches we will uncover how heterochromatin on the one hand governs silencing and how the piRNA pathway on the other hand exploits it to facilitate the transcription of piRNA precursors. This will reveal fundamental insights into the co-evolution of transposons and host genomes. At the same time, by studying the piRNA pathway’s intersection with chromatin biology and transcription, we expect to reveal new insights into basic principles of gene expression.

 Publications

year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Peter Refsing Andersen, Laszlo Tirian, Milica Vunjak, Julius Brennecke
A heterochromatin-dependent transcription machinery drives piRNA expression
published pages: 54-59, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/nature23482
Nature 549/7670 2019-06-18
2019 Julia Batki, Jakob Schnabl, Juncheng Wang, Veselin I. Andreev, Dominik Handler, Christian E. Stieger, Maria Novatchkova, Lisa Lampersberger, Kotryna Kauneckaite, Karl Mechtler, Dinshaw J. Patel & Julius Brennecke
A nascent RNA binding complex licenses piRNA-guided heterochromatin formation
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2019-04-18
2019 Mostafa F. ElMaghraby, Peter Refsing Andersen, Florian Pühringer, Katharina Meixner, Thomas Lendl, Laszlo Tirian, Julius Brennecke
A heterochromatin-specific RNA export pathway facilitates piRNA production
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2019-04-18

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