Exceptional success of scientists of the Institute of Biology FM MU

Three scientists from our Institute of Biology noted a significant success of their publication.

10 Dec 2020

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The work of doc. Lumír Krejčí’s team (LF MU and FNUSA) has seen exceptional success. The prestigious journal Nature published a scientific paper titled “RAD51-dependent recruitment of TERRA lncRNA to telomeres through R-loops” that was created in cooperation with the departments of the FM MU and FNUSA in Brno, alongside the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) based in Lausanne.

The teams focused on a structure named TERRA and its role in the cell. “TERRA, or telomeric RNA, is a long chain of ribonucleic acid that is formed during the transcription of genetic information of a telomere. For a long time, it has not been clear what its purpose is." doc. Krejčí stated. Together, they discovered an important part of the process of cell division, the description of which can help to understand the origin of tumour cells, but also ageing of the cell.

Another significant success in publishing is the work of Pavel Krejčí that was published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, a prestigious magazine. Dr Krejčí with him team, colleagues from the UCLA and the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics at the Academy of Sciences focused on genetic mutations leading to the damage of cilia and subsequently the so-called Jeune syndrome. This syndrome is manifested by narrow chest, short ribs, shortened limb bones and occasional polydactyly – a higher number of fingers. According to dr. Krejčí’s words, his team was able to describe “new mutations in the GRK2 gene, which lead to damage of cilia’s function, the so-called primary cilia in the cell, and ultimately the growth disorder that leads to death.” That means this is an important step towards understanding the origin of serious growth disorders, which also opens the doors to the search of treatment.

The third success is the work of a research team that has been founded at the Department of Biology quite recently. In his first year in office, the team’s leader Dr Nicola Silva gained a grant from the Czech Science Foundation for his research, focused on studying DNA repairing during meiosis. This Autumn, he also managed to be published in Nature Communication with his paper entitled “Poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase coordinates meiotic DNA double-strand break induction and repair independent of its catalytic activity”. In this paper, Dr Silva described the role of the PARG protein during induction of meiotic DNA breaks and their repair on the C. elegans model.

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