How diet controls RNA maturation

Particularly sensitive to chemical modifications, messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are molecules responsible for transmitting the information encoded in our genome, allowing for the synthesis of proteins, which are necessary for the functioning of our cells. Two teams from the department of molecular biology, Ramesh Pillai and Florian Steiner ‘s labs, have focused on a specific type of chemical modification – called methylation – of mRNA molecules in the small worm Caenorhabditis elegans. They found that methylation on a particular sequence of an mRNA leads to its degradation and that this control mechanism depends on the worm’s diet.

The article was published in Cell, on April 29th 2021.

Check the UNIGE press release.