Discovering Novel Short RNAs and Organism-specific Aspects of Process Regulation
Isidore Rigoutsos
Dept. of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology
Jefferson Medical College
Thomas Jefferson University

Through earlier computational work, we discovered a novel class of DNA sequence motifs that were summarily referred to as 'pyknons' and exhibited conspicuous properties. The discovery of these motifs allowed us to postulate the existence of specific, previously unseen categories of short RNAs and of an associated framework of putative regulatory interactions in which these RNAs and motifs participated. Experimental work and additional computational analyses by us and others have begun providing support for the pyknon framework and suggesting the possibility that a potentially significant portion of cellular process regulation may be mediated by genomic sequences that need not be conserved across organisms. This talk will summarize the most important aspects of the work so far and the more recent findings, and discuss their ramifications for the onset and progression of disease.