Put simply, the conundrum is this: Only 1.2 percent of the genome encodes proteins, but 80% of it is transcribed into RNA. So either the genome is replete with useless transcription, or these Noncoding RNAs fulfill some unexpected function! What was dismissed as junk because it was not understood may well turn out to hold the secrets to (human) complexity and a guide to the programming of complex systems in general! (John Mattick, 2004)
Noncoding RNAs: Dark matter of the genome
The impact of Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) such as microRNAs and, more recently, long ncRNAs (LncRNAs) onto eukaryotic gene regulation has just started to be understood. The Kornfeld lab would like to take part in this 'Noncoding RNA revolution' by identifying novel ncRNAs and elucidating their role in homeostatic circuits regulating energy homeostasis in health and disease. We apply state-of-the art techniques such as next-generation sequencing, the generation of transgenic mouse models and in vivo anti-ncRNA approaches to ultimately better understand the intricate biology of disease-associated ncRNAs. Our ultimatate goal is to define novel sequence-specific anti-ncRNAs therapeutics for anti-obesity intervention.