Dr Sam Griffiths-Jones
Michael Smith Building|Oxford Road|Manchester|M13 9PT
The most commonly understood role of RNA is as an intermediate in the decoding of genetic information in DNA into the proteins that carry out the majority of known structural and functional roles in the cell. A few other classes of functional RNA molecules, such as transfer RNAs, ribosomal RNAs and spliceosomal RNAs, are expressed from their own genes (so-called RNA genes), but were long assumed to be unusual specialised cases. However, in recent years it has become increasingly clear that RNA molecules are involved in essentially all cellular functions, including many that are linked directly to diseases. These RNAs can be tiny (just 20 or so bases in length in the case of a class called microRNAs) to extremely long (hundreds of thousands of bases). Current estimates suggest that there may be as many RNA genes as there are protein-coding genes in the human genome (i.e. tens of thousands), but we understand the functions of only a few hundred.
My group is interested in the structure, function and evolution of functional RNAs. We employ mainly computational, genome-wide approaches to their analysis. We have particular interests in the class of microRNAs, and we manage the world-wide repository of microRNA data.
- Kozomara, A. & Griffiths-Jones, S (2011). miRBase: integrating microRNA annotation and deep-sequencing data. Nucleic acids research, 39(supplement), D152. eScholarID:103463 | PMID:21037258 | DOI:10.1093/nar/gkq1027
- Griffiths-Jones, S., Hui, J., Marco, A. & Ronshaugen, M (2011). MicroRNA evolution by arm switching. EMBO Rep, 12(2), 172-7. eScholarID:119094 | PMID:21212805 | DOI:10.1038/embor.2010.191
- Rogers HH, Bergman CM, Griffiths-Jones S. (2010). The Evolution of tRNA Genes in Drosophila. Genome Biology and Evolution, 2, 467-477. eScholarID:86942 | DOI:10.1093/gbe/evq034
- Marco A, Hui JH, Ronshaugen M, Griffiths-Jones S. (2010). Functional shifts in insect microRNA evolution. Genome Biology and Evolution, 2, 686-696. eScholarID:92653 | DOI:10.1093/gbe/evq053
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