Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University
Prof. Eric Westhof
Director, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, CNRS
Counterpart Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, CNRS (France)
The enormous volume of knowledge on biological molecules has been accumulated since the discovery of double-helical DNA. The trend of establishing a new field called “Synthetic Biology” is gaining momentum in this post-genome era. “Synthetic Biology” is expected to induce a new technology by practicing (re)design and (re)construction of biological molecules and biological systems.
The aim of this project was to develop a new basic technology for designing and constructing functional RNA and RNA-protein complex (RNP) molecules in order to regulate functions of a cell. The Japanese side conducted research on molecular design, construction and application, while the French side conducted research on structural biology, bioinformatics and molecular dynamics of RNA and RNP molecules.
They have designed an RNP system to regulate cell fates by reconstructing a translational regulation system by using the RNP motif.
The achievements of this project, such as a general method for designing and constructing functional RNA and RNP molecules, has potential for creating new diagnostic or therapeutic drugs and will have large impacts on the bionanotechnology field as well as the diagnostic and medical field.