MicroRNAs and other small RNAs are now recognized as key regulators of various cellular processes but their specific functions are largely unknown. We combine computational and experimental approaches to study the repertoire, biological roles and evolution of small RNAs in animals and plants. In the nematode C. elegans we study how miRNAs contribute to the development, homeostasis, stress responce and aging. In the flatworm Macrostomum lignano – an emerging model organism for regeneration and stem cell research – we are developing genomic tools and resources, including de novo genome sequencing and annotation, to study roles of small RNAs in the maintenance and differentiation of neoblasts (see www.macgenome.org for details).
About the research
Demircan, T., Berezikov, E. (2013) The hippo pathway regulates stem cells during homeostasis and regeneration of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano. Stem Cells Dev. 22: 2174-2185.
Simanov, D., Mellaart-Straver, I., Sormacheva, I., Berezikov, E. (2012) The Flatworm Macrostomum lignano Is a Powerful Model Organism for Ion Channel and Stem Cell Research. Stem Cells Int. 2012: 167265.
Berezikov, E. (2011) Evolution of microRNA diversity and regulation in animals. Nat Rev Genet. 12: 846-860.
Berezikov, E. Liu, N., Flynt, A.S., Hodges, E., Rooks, M. Hannon, G.J., Lai, E.C. (2010) Evolutionary flux of canonical microRNAs and mirtrons in Drosophila. Nat. Genet. 42: 6-9.
Berezikov, E., Guryev, V., van de Belt, J., Wienholds, E., Plasterk, R.H.A, Cuppen, E. (2005) Phylogenetic shadowing and computational identification of human microRNA genes. Cell 120: 21-24.