Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecule identified that contributes to essential cell functioning process

03.09.2003


New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified a cellular enzyme that helps regulate the synthesis of proteins essential to cell functioning throughout the life of the organism. The enzyme binds to histone messenger RNA, which is DNA’s blueprint for histone protein synthesis.



As histones represent about half of the nucleoprotein complex known as chromatin, they are vital to DNA replication and the subsequent assembly of chromosomes A report of the research appears in the Aug. 29 edition of the science journal Molecular Cell.

"This is the first enzyme I’m aware of that’s specific for a particular group of messenger RNAs," said Dr. William F. Marzluff, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UNC’s School of Medicine.


"We think this novel enzyme halts the synthesis of histones when they’re no longer needed by rapidly degrading histone mRNAs. This is important because too much histone synthesis can be lethal to the cell."

Marzluff’s focus on histone mRNA stems largely from his team’s 1996 discovery and cloning of the stem-loop binding protein SLBP. A major regulatory player in histone mRNA expression, SLBP latches onto the looped tail of histone mRNA and signals the synthesis of histone proteins. In addition, SLBP remains bound to histone mRNA, making sure that its instructions are properly translated.

But SLBP’s role in the rapid destruction of histone mRNA when histone synthesis is no longer needed has remained unclear. "Now we have another protein - this enzyme called 3-prime histone mRNA exonuclease - that binds to the same region and also binds to SLBP," said study lead author Dr. Zbigniew Dominski, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UNC. "And they bind together in a very short region, where we had thought there was only one protein at any one time."

The protein had been identified previously but had not been characterized, Dominski said - that is, its function was unknown. "No one had studied it. They just knew it existed."

RNA affinity purification, genome database comparison and mass spectrometry at the medical school’s proteomics facility helped identify the protein as a 3-prime exonuclease. "When we saw that one of its domains was this 3-prime exonuclease, we immediately realized it must be linked to histone mRNA degradation," Dominski said.

Cloning the exonuclease allowed further study, which indicated that the protein initiated degradation of histone mRNA. "When this protein and SLBP are bound to the stem-loop at the same time, the exonuclease is inactive. When SLBP drops off, rapid histone mRNA degradation occurs. Therefore, SLBP helps to coordinate both the synthesis and the degradation of histone mRNA," Marzluff said. Dominski added, "The intriguing thing about this is having two proteins bound to this very small target at the same time. It’s a unique molecular mechanism. We’d like to figure out how that happens chemically and exactly how this interaction occurs."

Along with Marzluff and Dominski, UNC co-authors include Xiao-cui Yang and Handan Kaygun. Co-author Dr. Michael Dadlez is from Warsaw University in Poland. Support for the research came from the National Institutes of Health.

In February 2001, UNC Chancellor James Moeser announced a campuswide genomics initiative representing a public-private investment of at least $245 million over the next 10 years.


By Leslie H. Lang
UNC School of Medicine

Note: Contact Marzluff at 919-962-2140 or 962-8920 or marzluff@med.unc.edu. Contact Dominski at 919-962-2141 or dominski@med.unc.edu. School of Medicine contact: Les Lang, 919-843-9687 or llang@med.unc.edu.

Leslie Lang | idw
Further information:
http://www.med.unc.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>