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Special Bioengineering Seminar: Xinshu (Grace) Xiao
Thursday, April 3, 2008
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Kay Board Rooms, Kim Engineering Building
For More Information:
Professor Yang Tao
(301) 405-1189

Decoding Splicing—Systems Biology of Splicing Regulation

Presented by Xinshu (Grace) Xiao
Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alternative splicing generates a highly dynamic and cell type-specific proteome through networks of coordinated splicing events. It is therefore an essential mechanism in regulation of gene expression in higher eukaryotes. As a result, a growing number of human diseases are found to be associated with splicing abnormalities. To enable accurate and efficient splicing, a complex interplay is required among trans-acting factors and cis-acting RNA elements. In this talk, I present our study on splicing regulatory mechanisms using systems and computational biology approaches. Specifically, we develop a generalized Bayesian network method to model the coevolution of splicing cis-elements in various eukaryotic taxa. Extensive evolutionary compensation was observed among splicing regulators which provided insights about their cooperative functional interactions. One of the predictions of this work motivated further studies that revealed the context-dependent function of an intronic splicing enhancer (ISE). This function has interesting implications in the evolution of alternative splicing and genetic diversity. Complex context-dependent functions are likely general characteristics of many splicing regulators. Thus, a better understanding of splicing in healthy and diseased subjects necessitates network-level studies integrating functions of individual components.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs

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