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Chemical Complexity & Biology

Prix Alexandre Joannidès 2014 Académie des sciences : Irwin DAVIDSON

Discovery of a novel RNA class

Mitotic progression (cell division, from left to right) proceeds normally when nds-2a levels are intact (first row), however abnormal cell division is observed when nds-2a levels have been altered (middle and bottom row).
© Maximiliano Portal

(Cell divisions can be observed at 

Dec. 15, 2014

It has been known for nearly 60 years that RNA has the same potential as DNA to hybridize into a double helix. However, in human cells the presence of stable double-stranded RNAs exerting biological roles that are critically dependent on this structure had never been experimentally demonstrated.
A study coordinated by Maximiliano Portal and Hinrich Gronemeyer at the IGBMC reports the existence of an entirely new class of stable non-coding double-stranded RNAs (termed 'ndsRNAs' for natural double-strand RNAs) which are naturally present in the nucleus of cells and regulate key cellular processes, such as cell division.
These results were published on December 15th in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.


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2 IGBMC researchers among the world’s most influential

Nov. 24, 2014

Thomson Reuters, the world leader in intelligent systems for businesses and professionals, released on June 18, 2014 the list of the most influential scientists of the world. Based on a bibliometric analysis of articles published between 2002 and 2012 in 21 scientific fields and indexed in the Web of Science (database that collects much of the world's scientific publications), the group has published a list of scientists whose work is most frequently cited by their parties. Among the 3,200 researchers listed are two IGBMC researchers : Pierre Chambon and Hinrich Gronemeyer. Congratulations to them!

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Novel role of Rfx6 gene in insulin secretion

Islet of Langerhans of an adult mice pancreas showing the expression of Rfx6 transcription factor (red) in the beta cells nuclei (marked by the insulin, green)
©Julie Piccand 

Dec. 12, 2014

For the first time, the team of Gérard Gradwohl, Inserm research leader at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology of Illkirch (IGBMC / Inserm-CNRS-Université of Strasbourg) shows that Rfx6 gene is essential for pancreatic beta cell function. In adult mice, this gene turns out to be important for the secretion of insulin as well as for the maintenance of beta cell identity.

These results are published December 11th in Cell Reports.

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