Long noncoding RNAs are defined as RNAs >200 bases without an open reading frame of significant length or evolutionary conservation. They have been found to act as part of RNA–protein machines or as interactors of long and short RNAs. A few have catalytic functions. I will present long noncoding RNAs that we have implicated in skeletal muscle differentiation (H19 and MUNC) and in the progression of cancers (DRAIC). I will report on lncRNAs important for predicting the prognosis of gliomas and glioblastomas. In contrast to long noncoding RNAs, short noncoding RNAs have been extensively studied over the last fifteen years and include microRNAs, siRNAs, piRNAs, sgRNAs etc. I will end the talk with a discussion of a novel family of short RNAs, tRFs, which, like microRNAs, regulate gene expression using Argonaute proteins. However, unlike microRNAs, tRFS do not require Dicer or Drosha for their biogenesis.
Dr. Dutta is the Harry F. Byrd Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Professor of Pathology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has trained at Christian Medical College, Vellore (M.B.B.S.), Rockefeller University (Ph.D.) , Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Postdoctoral Fellow) and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Residency in Pathology). He was Asst. and Assoc. Professor of Pathology at BWH before moving to UVA. His research interests cover genomic instability in cancer cells and noncoding RNAs in differentiation and cancer. His laboratory identified many of the replication initiation proteins in human cells, used genomics technology to identify hundreds of origins of replication in human chromosomes, discovered a major mechanism by which human cells prevent over-replication of their DNA, and identified a novel class of circular DNA present in normal mammalian cells His laboratory has also discovered many microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs that inhibit cell proliferation and promote differentiation of muscle stem cells to mature muscle and microRNAs and mong noncoding RNAs that contribute to the phenotypes of advanced prostate cancer and gliomas. He has trained over thirty scientists who continue research in academia or industry, and has received the following honors: Elected Fellow of the AAAS, Ranbaxy Award for studies on genome instability and the Outstanding Investigator Award of the American Society for Investigative Pathology.