- Professor Akio Kanai
Introduction of the discussion
Central dogma in molecular biology is the general principles concerning the transmission and expression of genetic information. Genetic information encoded in DNA is copied to messenger RNA (mRNA) (transcription), and protein biosynthesis is performed based on that information (translation).
In this important process, RNA functions as mRNA, ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and transfer RNA (tRNA).
As an unexpected by-product of the genome project, a large number of genes encoding non-coding RNA (ncRNA) were discovered. This ncRNA does not express its function after being translated into a protein, but is thought to have some function as an RNA molecule, and is now called functional RNA.
Later, accelerated transcriptome analysis revealed that ncRNA transcription occurred.
Finding the problem
NcRNAs transcribed from the genome range from as short as 20 bases to over 200 bases in length. Among them, 18-25 bases called microRNAs (microRNAs) are attracting attention as functional RNAs. Long ncRNAs.
miRNA belongs to the small RNA molecule family and is an RNA interference (RNAi) molecule that causes intracellular gene expression reduction (gene silencing).
Since miRNA is naturally present in cells, it is thought that it has a gene silencing mechanism in vivo.
Since RNA is involved in maintaining homeostasis in living organisms, its failure is expected to result in disease.
However, in any disease, the fundamental issue of whether the increased or decreased miRNA expression is the “cause” or “result” of each disease has not yet been elucidated.
If miRNAs involved in the onset of the disease are identified, there is no doubt that this will directly lead to therapeutic drug development. However, the mechanism of action has not yet been elucidated.
Therefore, I would like to elucidate the mechanism of miRNA gene silencing.
Examining the conclusion
By studying with Professor Akio Kanai, who is a prominent scholar as a pioneer in RNA research, and has achieved remarkable results in the field of RNA research so far, I am sure that I could obtain various perspectives regarding my research and it would open up new horizons for me.
Therefore, I believe that Keio University’s Faculty of Environment and Information Studies is the most suitable place for pursuing my research and social contributions, and I am aspiring to enter your school and study in your laboratory.