Cell lesson: better coordinated than isolated

Cell lesson: better coordinated than isolated

News from UPF

A new study led by Juana Díez, principal investigator of the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) at UPF, has found a new system in our cells that makes them more robust against possible alterations in the expression of our genes. The work was published in Nature Communications.

Genes contain the necessary information for the formation of proteins, which are the cell’s functional elements. Therefore, the expression of our genes is precisely regulated, since an inappropriate rise or fall in protein levels may lead to cell death or various pathologies. This expression takes place in three major stages: transcriptiontranslation and mRNA degradation.

The new study indicates that these three stages, classically considered as being isolated due to their different spatial and temporal incidence, are interconnected through a common regulator. The scientists have revealed a hitherto unknown role of Xrn1, which is a protein that is highly conserved in the eukaryotes.


Blasco-Moreno B, de Campos-Mata L, Böttcher R, García-Martínez J, Jungfleisch J, Nedialkova D, Chattopadhyay S, Gas M, Oliva B, Pérez-Ortín J, Leidel S, Choder M & Díez J. The exonuclease Xrn1 activates transcription and translation of mRNAs encoding membrane proteins. Nature Communications, March, 2019.

More information:
DCEXS-UPF website