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Mechanism and functional impact of ultra-long 3’ UTRs in the Drosophila nervous system

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Neuro-UTR project word cloud

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

mechanistic    journey    model    extended    elav    neurons    plasticity    association    avenue    cell    create    communication    imaging    biochemistry    genetics    functional    genes    disease    neuronal    regulatory    drastic    promoters    plays    extension    nervous    mrna    gene    integrate    synthesis    govern    impacts    unpublished    alternative    link    function    first    co    give    aging    follow    genomics    recruitment    regulation    transcription    protein    destination    untranslated    effector    synaptic    understand    utr    framework    underlying    discovered    synapse    site    health    occurs    binding    humans    molecular    nucleus    flies    animal    nascent    utrs    striking    mediated    proteomics    promoter    initiation    ing    ultra    biogenesis    drosophila    deregulation    central    memory    hundreds    employing    lengthening    region    hypothesise    employ    unknown    causes    mrnas    neurological    transcriptional    diseases    mechanisms    rna   

Project "Neuro-UTR" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 80539
website: n.a.

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 Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙497˙500 €
 EC max contribution 1˙497˙500 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-01-01   to  2023-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Neurons employ cell-specific gene regulatory mechanisms. One particularly striking process is the recently discovered, drastic lengthening of the 3’ untranslated region (3’ UTR) of hundreds of genes, which occurs in neurons from flies to humans. The function of the resulting ultra-long 3’ UTRs is unknown. RNA deregulation plays a central role in neurological diseases; to understand underlying causes, it is essential to study regulatory processes and define the function of these novel 3’ UTRs. In Drosophila, the neuronal RNA-binding protein ELAV is the main effector of nervous system specific 3’ UTR extension. ELAV’s association with the promoter region of its target genes is required for synthesis of alternative, ultra-long 3’ UTRs. The mechanistic framework of this novel and exciting link between transcription initiation and alternative 3’ end processing is not understood yet. We hypothesise that mRNAs carrying ultra-long 3’ UTRs create an important communication avenue between transcription regulation and synaptic function. In this proposal, we will study the regulation of ELAV-mediated 3’ UTR extension in a Drosophila model. First, we will provide mechanistic insight into the co-transcriptional processes that give rise to ultra-long 3’ UTRs. Employing genomics, proteomics and biochemistry, we will study the recruitment of ELAV at gene promoters and to nascent mRNA. Second, we will follow the journey of extended mRNAs from their site of synthesis to their destination using imaging, proteomics, and functional genetics. Finally, based on our unpublished results that 3’ UTR plasticity impacts neuronal function, we will analyse the role of ultra-long 3’ UTRs in memory, aging and disease. Our study will integrate the molecular mechanisms that govern biogenesis and function of ultra-long 3’ UTRs, from nucleus to synapse, in an animal model. The results of this research will create a major impact on our understanding of neuronal gene regulation in health and disease.

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