"For the first time, we have evidence to support the hypothesis that human cells have the widespread ability to copy RNA as well as DNA," said co-author Bino John, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Computational and Systems Biology, Pitt School of Medicine. "These findings emphasize the complexity of human RNA populations and suggest the important role for single-molecule sequencing for accurate and comprehensive genetic profiling."
Scientists had thought that all RNA in human cells was copied from the DNA template, Dr. John explained. The presence of mechanisms that copy RNA into RNA, typically associated with an enzyme called RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, has only been documented in plants and simple organisms, such as yeast, and implicated in regulation of crucial cellular processes. Since thousands of such RNAs have been detected in human cells and because these RNAs have never before been studied, further research could open up new fronts in therapeutics, particularly diagnostics, Dr. John said.
In the study, the researchers profiled small RNAs from human cells and tissues, uncovering several new classes of RNAs, including antisense termini-associated short RNAs, which are likely derived from messenger RNAs of protein-coding genes by yet uncharacterized, pervasive RNA-copying mechanisms in human cancer cell lines.
"This class of non-coding RNA molecules has been historically overlooked because available sequencing platforms often are unable to provide accurate detection and quantification," said Patrice Milos, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Helicos Biosciences. "Our technology provides the platform capability to identify and quantify these RNAs and reinforces the potential clinical advantages of our single molecule-sequencing platform."
Co-authors include A. Paula Monaghan, Ph.D., and Sang Woo Kim, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Sylvain Foissac, Ph.D., Integromics Inc.; Stylianos Antonarakis, M.D., Ph.D., and Christelle Borel, Ph.D., University of Geneva Medical School; and Philipp Kapranov, Ph.D., and others from Helicos BioSciences.
The research was funded by the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Integromics Inc., and Helicos BioSciences Corporation.
Anita Srikameswaran | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy