Gian Gaetano Tartaglia Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)

Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a molecule composed of nucleic acids that transfers the genetic information contained in DNA to produce the proteins that ensure the correct biological operation of every type of cell. We found that messenger RNA could act as a solubilizer, blocking the formation of protein aggregates that are potentially toxic to our organisms. In particular, we observed that the transcript conding for Heat Shock Protein 70 (HSP70) interacts with many proteins and has a strong effect on protein aggregation. We experimentally demonstrated for the first time that, under conditions of stress, HSP70 mRNA has the ability to promote the removal of the protein aggregates that are responsible for serious neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.


de Groot NS, Armaos A, Graña-Montes R, Alriquet M, Calloni G, Vabulas RM & Tartaglia GG 2019, ‘ RNA structure drives interaction with proteins’, Nature Communications , 10, 3246.