The individual steps of gene expression are relatively well characterized at the biochemical level, but much remains to be understood about how these individual reactions are coordinated and regulated in the cell. Our research addresses the following specific questions:

- the mechanisms of quality control of mRNA biogenesis,
- the roles of the nuclear exosome in maintaining chromatin structure and genome integrity,
- the crosstalk between transcription, chromatin structure and pre-mRNA processing, with focus on the mechanisms by which SWI/SNF regulates pre-mRNA processing,
- the mechanisms of action of 5-fluorouracil (5FU), a drug used for the treatment of solid tumors, with focus on the RNA-mediated responses.

We use two insect model systems. One of them is the midge Chironomus tentans, a useful organism for in situ studies using immunofluorescence and immuno-electron microscopy. In collaboration with Lars Wieslander and with scientists at the SciLifeLab, we are working on the sequencing of the genome and transcriptome of C. tentans, which will expand the experimental possibilities for work with this model organism. We use the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster for functional analyses and genome-wide studies.






mRNA-binding proteins, alternative pre-mRNA processing, mRNA export, SWI/SNF, exosome, heterochromatin, nuclear actin


Selected publications

Marin-Vicente, C., Lyutvinskiy, Y., Romans Fuertes, P., Zubarev, R.A., & Visa, N. (2013). The Effects of 5-Fluorouracil on the Proteome of Colon Cancer Cells. J Proteome Res.  [Epub ahead of print]

Hessle, V., von Euler, A., González de Valdivia, E., & Visa, N. (2012). Rrp6 is recruited to transcribed genes and accompanies the spliced mRNA to the nuclear pore. RNA. 18(8):1466-74

Eberle, A.B., Hessle, V., Helbig, R., Dantoft, W., Gimber, N., & Visa N. (2010). Splice-site mutations cause Rrp6-mediated nuclear retention of the unspliced RNAs and transcriptional down-regulation of the splicing-defective genes. PLoS One. 5(7):e11540

Hessle, V., Björk, P., Sokolowski, M., González de Valdivia, E., Silverstein, R., Artemenko, K., Tyagi, A., Maddalo, G., Ilag, L., Helbig, R., Zubarev, R.A., & Visa, N. (2009). The exosome associates cotranscriptionally with the nascent pre-mRNP through interactions with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins. Mol Biol Cell. 20(15):3459-70

Tyagi, A., Ryme, J., Brodin, D., Ostlund Farrants, A.K., & Visa, N. (2009), SWI/SNF associates with nascent pre-mRNPs and regulates alternative pre-mRNA processing.
PLoS Genet. 5(5):e1000470


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