RNPnet" - RNP structure, function and mechanism of action

RNA molecules are at the heart of life. It is now commonly admitted that nearly all the human genome is transcribed, and a wealth of new coding and non-coding RNAs have been discovered. Importantly, modern RNAs are never naked, but always exist in complex with proteins to form RNPs (Ribonucleoproteins). In the case of non-coding RNAs, these proteins are usually stably associated with the RNA and help to perform their function. In contrast, RNA binding proteins are usually transiently bound to coding RNAs, and control various aspects of their metabolism. For the next generation of scientists, a great challenge will be to understand the function and the mechanisms of action of the myriads of RNPs. The goal of this ITN (RNPnet) is first to bring together existing labs from different discipline, to join forces and tackle key questions in the field, and second, to produce highly-trained young researchers that will be sensitized to RNA and possess a multidisciplinary approach to research. The multiple expertises present in the fifteen labs of this network will be used in a highly cooperative and integrated manner. The research training will focus on studying RNPs involved in mRNA surveillance, splicing and editing. In addition, a total of fifteen meetings including two summer schools and several workshops are planed to strengthen education and interaction among participants of RNPnet. Finally, another important aspect of RNPnet is the presence of two industrial partners. Their aim is to use the enormous potential of RNA biology in therapeutic applications, either by modifying RNAs and using it as a drug, or by targeting specific RNA binding proteins with small molecules. We foresee that the presence of industrial partners will be highly beneficial for the students, and that, by exposing them to both the academic and industrial world, we will both facilitate communication between these worlds and provide to the young trainees a large panorama of their possible career.

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