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Investigating molecular regulation of the cardiovascular system

Prof. Stefanie Dimmeler (co-spokesperson of the SFB) Goethe University Frankfurt, DZHK Partner Site Rhine-Main and Prof. Stefan Engelhardt (spokesperson of the SFB, Technical University of Munich, Partner Site Munich.

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TU Munich and Goethe University, both partners in the DZHK, have jointly obtained a new Collaborative Research Centre (Sonderforschungsbereich – SFB), which will receive approximately € 11 million in funding from the German Research Foundation over the next four years.

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The new SFB comprising a consortium of 30 renowned researchers will investigate the influence non-coded RNAs have on the development, regulation and cellular processes of the cardiovascular system. The extended SFB deals with the structure and function of different RNA variants in biology and chemistry.

Ribonucleic acids, or RNAs, were long considered merely messenger molecules that coded genetic information for the creation of proteins. Meanwhile, it is known that over 90 percent of the RNA molecules carry out an astonishing variety of other tasks. Many of them regulate processes within the cell (siRNA, miRNA and sRNA) and others create fascinating three-dimensional structures and serve as enzymes of switches for cellular processes. Non-coded RNAs also play a significant role in cardiovascular diseases.

The new trans-regional SFB “Non-coding RNA in the cardiovascular system,” will research how non-coded RNA is created and transported in the cardiovascular system. It will furthermore look into how it influences cellular processes and which role it plays in the occurrence and cure of cardiovascular diseases. Over the long term, the collaborative also hopes to find new therapeutic target molecules.

Additional partners are the Ludwig-Maximilian’s-Universität (LMU), the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, and the Hannover Medical School.

Source: Research News Goethe University