Andor Pivarcsi research group

Non-coding RNAs in skin stem cell differentiation and carcinogenesis

Non-coding RNAs, i.e. RNAs that do not code for proteins, have emerged as fundamental regulators of cellular processes and are potential therapeutic targets for treating diseases. Both long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) and microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in organismal development, tissue differentiation and ageing, with potential to transform our understanding of disease mechanisms and clinical practices.

The skin is our largest organ and skin diseases affect more than 25 % of the population. Our lab is interested in understanding the role of non-coding RNAs in stem cell differentiation, ageing and carcinogenesis in the skin. In addition, we are interested in understanding the role of ncRNA-mediated regulation of the innate immune response of skin epithelial cells. Our current research focuses on the understanding of the role of non-coding RNAs in one of the most common human cancers, skin squamous cell carcinoma.

We use transcriptomic profiling in patient material to identify novel disease-relevant non-coding RNAs. To identify the exact molecular role of the most interesting disease-relevant ncRNAs we perform CRISPR-Cas9-based in loss-of function and gain-of function experiments in cell culture models, 3D reconstructed tissue equivalents and mouse disease models, as well as, to an increasing extent, data analysis with bioinformatics methods.