Epitranscriptomics

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While the DNMT2 protein contains all the catalytic motifs of a canonical DNA methyltransferase, we have shown that the enzyme is a multisubstrate tRNA methyltransferase that methylates certain tRNAs. By analyzing RNA-methylation deficient mouse models we have demonstrated an essential function of this modification during development. Subsequent work has elucidated the underlying mechanisms and uncovered how RNA modifications can result in genome recoding. These observations represent key contributions to the novel field of epitranscriptomics, which investigates how RNA modifications can impact RNA functionally. We are currently developing our basic research into more translational approaches. This is supported by close collaborations with clinical partners to analyze the role of mRNA adenine methylation in cancer.

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