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The role of RNA silencing in immunity and development in eukaryotes (FRONTIERS OF RNAI)
Start date: Aug 1, 2008, End date: Jul 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

RNA silencing is a pan-eukaryotic gene regulation process that involves RNA molecules 19-30nt in length. These molecules are produced by RNAse-III proteins in the Dicer family and engage into sequence-specific regulation of complementary DNA or RNA upon their incorporation into effector complexes. RNA silencing serves essential roles in biology but the molecular bases of its mechanisms are still poorly understood. One major aspect of the proposed project is to decipher genetically the composition of RNA silencing effector complexes and to understand how those complexes orchestrate the regulation of fundamental processes involved in cell differentiation, notably the process of dosage compensation during chromosome X inactivation in mammals. The second aspect is part of our ongoing efforts to understand the implication of small RNAs in plant and animal innate immunity, their impact on pathogen’s fitness and evolution, and how pathogens counteract small RNA-directed immune pathways.

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