GRIB. Research Unit on Biomedical Informatics

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Parts of the genome without a known function may play a key role in the birth of new proteins

Researchers of the Evolutionary Genomics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) have recently published a study in eLife showing that RNA called non-coding (IncRNA) plays an important role in the evolution of new proteins, some of which could have important cell functions yet to be discovered.

We have confirmed that in all six species that were studied –human beings, mice, fish, flies, yeast and a plant– many of the IncRNAs were associated to ribosomes and seemed to be ready to translate RNA into proteins. This suggests that they could act as a repository for the synthesis of new proteins” explains Mar Albà, ICREA professor and leader of the Evolutionary Genomics grup.

Article Ref.: Ruiz-Orera J, Messeguer X, Subirana JA, Alba MM. Long non-coding RNAs as a source of new peptides. eLife, 2014;3: e03523

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Interview to Magda Gayà-Vidal, a former student of GRIB

Click here to have a look to the interview to Magda Gayà-Vidal, a former student of GRIB, talking about the results obtained in her master thesis carried out in the Evolutionary Genomics group, which has been recently published.

Apart from talking about the most interesting results of that study (the identification of ~200 genes that have evolved more rapidly in humans than in other primates), it was also the opportunity to talk about research in genetics in plain language.

Article ref.: Gayà-Vidal M & Albà MM (2014). Uncovering adaptive evolution in the human lineage. BMC Genomics 15:599.

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Last project


The Open Pharmacological Concepts Triple Store project (Open PHACTS) will develop an open access innovation platform, called Open Pharmacological Space (OPS), via a semantic web approach. OPS will be comprised of data, vocabularies and infrastructure needed to accelerate drug- oriented research. The aim is to develop an enabling resource for drug discovery projects which is open to all users and freely available in the public domain. This european project is funded by IMI and has been recently extended until 2016.

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Last publications

  • Hoadley KA, Yau C, Wolf DM, Cherniack AD, Tamborero D, Ng S, Leiserson MD, Niu B, McLellan MD, Uzunangelov V, Zhang J, Kandoth C, Akbani R, Shen H, Omberg L, Chu A, Margolin AA, Van't Veer LJ, Lopez-Bigas N, Laird PW, Raphael BJ, Ding L, Robertson AG, Byers LA, Mills GB, Weinstein JN, Van Waes C, Chen Z, Collisson EA; Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, Benz CC, Perou CM, Stuart JM. Multiplatform Analysis of 12 Cancer Types Reveals Molecular Classification within and across Tissues of Origin. Cell, 2014; 14; 158(4):929-44. PMID: 25109877 . DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.06.049.
  • Schroeder MP, Rubio-Perez C, Tamborero D, Gonzalez-Perez A, Lopez-Bigas N. OncodriveROLE classifies cancer driver genes in loss of function and activating mode of action. Bioinformatics, 2014; 30(17):i549-i555. PMID: 25161246 . DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu467.
  • Gobbi A, Iorio F, Dawson KJ, Wedge DC, Tamborero D, Alexandrov LB, Lopez-Bigas N, Garnett MJ, Jurman G, Saez-Rodriguez J. Fast randomization of large genomic datasets while preserving alteration counts. Bioinformatics, 2014; 30(17):i617-i623 . PMID: 25161255 .
  • Vento-Tormo R, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Di Lisio L, Islam AB, Urquiza JM, Hernando H, López-Bigas N, Shannon-Lowe C, Martínez N, Montes-Moreno S, Piris MA, Ballestar E. NF-KappaB directly mediates epigenetic deregulation of common microRNAs in Epstein-Barr virus-mediated transformation of B-cells and in lymphomas. Nucleic Acids Res, 2014 . PMID: 25200074 .

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