Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Code Beyond DNA

20.09.2011
Modified tRNA bases are characteristic of species

Our genetic code consists of four “letters” in the form of the nucleobases in our DNA and RNA. Three letters together form a “word” that are translated into an amino acid by tRNA and combined into proteins. Special markings subdivide the gene into active and inactive regions.

A third possible level of information has so far received less attention: the chemical modification of tRNA nucleobases. In the journal Angewandte Chemie Thomas Carell and a team at the University of Munich have now demonstrated that tRNA modification profiles can be used for the characterization of species and the differentiation of pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacterial strains.

There are over 100 different modifications that occur in RNA, the exact informational function of which remains unknown. Some are thought to improve the maintenance of reading frames; others may influence the stability of the RNA or participate in “proofreading”. It was recently discovered that the entire collective of modified tRNA nucleosides is a regulative component of the stress response.

In order to learn more about the function of modified nucleobases, the researchers investigated which modifications occur in what numbers in various species. They examined several gram-positive and gram-negative strains of bacteria, various fungi, and different cell components from pigs.

It turns out that the set of modified bases, as a whole, is largely species-specific. Related species have similar profiles, while unrelated ones are clearly different. Says Carell: “We were able to use this data to compute a detailed family tree of the various species that agreed with results from conventional methods. The entire sets of base modifications of a species clearly developed under the pressure of evolutionary selection.”

The researchers compared pairs of pathogenic and nonpathogenic, as well as antibiotic-resistant and non-resistant bacteria. “The bacteria we studied are among the most dangerous clinical pathogens and are responsible for many deaths,” according to Carell. “It was possible to differentiate between the harmless and dangerous species by using the tRNA modification profile.” For the listeria and staphylococci that were analyzed, the pathogenic and resistant species had a significantly higher proportion of some modified bases. “This is an indication that the translation process, that is the translation of the genetic code into proteins, occurs in a significantly different way than in less dangerous strains of these bacteria.”

Author: Thomas Carell, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany), http://www.carellgroup.de
Title: Systems-Based Analysis of Modified tRNA Bases
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201103229

Thomas Carell | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.carellgroup.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>