Project Number: 2012/04/S/NZ1/00729

Funds: 612.000 PLN

Duration of the project: October 2012-September 2016

Title of the project:  A code for RNA recognition in RNA–RRM interactions

Project leader:  Martyna Nowacka, PhD

Summary of the project:

RNA-recognition motif (RRM) is a small RNA-interacting protein domain that plays a role at every stage of RNA life cycle: splicing, editing, export, degradation and regulation of translation. RRMs are very common in all kingdoms of life, but particularly abundant in eukaryotes. Many well-characterized proteins that contain RRMs are involved in developmental processes, cellular response and control of gene expression. The RRM interacts with RNA molecules in a sequence- and sometimes also RNA secondary structure-dependent manner. Despite the large body of data available on sequence-specific RRM-RNA interactions, including numerous structures of RRM-RNA complexes, the “recognition code” is still not fully understood, and we cannot predict the RRM ligands from its protein sequence alone. In this project we were using a multidisciplinary approach towards better understanding of RRM-RNA recognition and thus towards a more complete bigger picture of the whole RRM superfamily.

The results of the RRM domains classification according to their sequence similarity were gathered in the new database: the RRM DB (the RNA Recognition Motif Database) available at The RRM DB is a valuable tool providing the users with general knowledge about RRMs and proteins containing these domains (literature, structures, and other useful links). It can be particularly useful for those who are interested in RRM phylogenetic studies. In this project the RRM DB was used as a starting point for further theoretical and experimental studies of so far unexplored RRM domains.

The results obtained in the project may help to better understand the basics of important cellular processes, taking place with the participation of protein-RNA complexes, and in a long term, serve as a source of information for designing new and specific RNA-binding domains.


Project supported by National Science Center Poland in frame of FUGA: post-doctoral internships programme