About the Project
Using unbiased sequencing approaches, we (in collaboration with Washington University, USA) and others have identified mutations in 4 genes including SF3B1, SRSF2, U2AF1, and ZRSR2, which are involved in pre-mRNA splicing in ~50% of patients with MDS, making this cellular pathway the most commonly mutated in MDS.[5-8] Current therapies were established prior to the fact that MDS has substantial splicing abnormalities and hence there is a need to identify novel therapeutic intervention targeting the over-active spliceosomal genes.
We have developed high-throughput splicing assays [9-11] , screened thousands of natural products and established drugs and identified novel hits. The major objectives of this project are to (a) investigate how overactive splicing contributes to disease pathogenesis and (b) determine whether natural products may provide therapeutic intervention.
The project will introduce the student to the broader areas of molecular genetics, biochemistry, drug discovery, pharmacology and translational medicine. The research activities will be undertaken at the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford. The studies will be performed in the recently renovated laboratories provided with state of the art equipments including high-throughput fluorescence and luminescence plate readers, QPCR machines, gel doc systems and modern tissue culture facilities. The research sits in the context of a highly active research environment at the University of Bradford.
2. Greenberg, P.L., et al., Revised international prognostic scoring system for myelodysplastic syndromes. Blood, 2012. 120(12): p. 2454-65.
3. Silverman, L.R., et al., Randomized controlled trial of azacitidine in patients with the myelodysplastic syndrome: a study of the cancer and leukemia group B. J Clin Oncol, 2002. 20(10): p. 2429-40.
4. Jabbour, E., et al., Outcome of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome after failure of decitabine therapy. Cancer, 2010. 116(16): p. 3830-4.
5. Yoshida, K., et al., Frequent pathway mutations of splicing machinery in myelodysplasia. Nature, 2011. 478(7367): p. 64-9.
6. Graubert, T.A., et al., Recurrent mutations in the U2AF1 splicing factor in myelodysplastic syndromes. Nat Genet, 2011. 44(1): p. 53-7.
7. Papaemmanuil, E., et al., Somatic SF3B1 mutation in myelodysplasia with ring sideroblasts. N Engl J Med, 2011. 365(15): p. 1384-95.
8. Visconte, V., et al., SF3B1, a splicing factor is frequently mutated in refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts. Leukemia, 2012. 26(3): p. 542-5.
9. Nasim, M.T., et al., HnRNP G and Tra2beta: opposite effects on splicing matched by antagonism in RNA binding. Hum Mol Genet, 2003. 12(11): p. 1337-48.
10. Nasim, M.T., H.M. Chowdhury, and I.C. Eperon, A double reporter assay for detecting changes in the ratio of spliced and unspliced mRNA in mammalian cells. Nucleic Acids Res, 2002. 30(20): p. e109.
11. Nasim, M.T. and I.C. Eperon, A double-reporter splicing assay for determining splicing efficiency in mammalian cells. Nat Protoc, 2006. 1(2): p. 1022-8.
12. Hu, J., et al., AKAP95 regulates splicing through scaffolding RNAs and RNA processing factors. Nat Commun, 2016. 7: p. 13347.
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