Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars
Regulation of Alternative pre-mRNA Splicing during Cell Differentiation, Development and Disease, Gene Regulation, Stem Cells and Cancer Programme, CRG
Juan Valcárcel has been interested in the process of pre-mRNA splicing since the time of his PhD with Juan Ortín at the CBMSO in Madrid. After a postdoc at UMass (Worcester) with Michael Green, he established his lab at EMBL (Heidelberg) in 1996 and moved to the CRG in 2002, where his group studies molecular mechanisms of alternative splicing regulation, particularly in genes relevant for cancer progression.
Alternative splicing expands the coding capacity of 90% of human genes and generates mRNAs with distinct, sometimes opposite functions. Deregulation of the process leads to human disease and can contribute to cancer progression. Our group combines computational, high-throughput and biochemical methods to study molecular mechanisms of alternative splicing regulation as well as the mode of action of small molecules with anti-tumor activity that target components of the splicing machinery and the impact of cancer-associated mutations often observed in these factors. The talk will summarize recent work of the group on these topics as well as on efforts to systematically map functional interactions in the Splicesome, one of the most complex machineries of our cells.