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RNA Zipcodes

The subcellular trafficking of RNA transcripts is known to rely on the presence of specific ‘zipcode’ elements encoded within the RNA sequence. Previous work by Dr Éric Lécuyer (Institut de Recherche Clinique de Montréal) and Drs Mathieu Blanchette and Jérôme Waldispühl (McGill University) has elucidated that it is not only protein localization that is key, but in fact the thousands of RNA molecules encoded in our genome are also highly localized inside cells. Together, they have developed an RNA zipcode discovery platform that leverages a combination of bioinformatics and machine learning with biochemical cell fractionation and RNA sequencing in order to define RNA localization features on a global scale. This unique information should be of great benefit in the development of more efficacious nucleic acid-based therapeutics, whether using antisense, siRNA, or mRNA approaches, as well as in gene editing of DNA/RNA using CRISPR.