Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ability to smell food regulated by enzyme’s interaction with RNA interference pathway

12.12.2003


ADARs do more than alter codon sequence in RNA



Recent studies at the University of Utah suggest new ways of regulating the behaviors that allow us to smell food, learn, and remember.

Brenda L. Bass, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at the U School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and Leath A. Tonkin, a graduate student in her lab, published their findings in the Dec. 5 issue of the journal Science.


With the help of a tiny worm, C. elegans, Bass and Tonkin discovered that ADAR, an enzyme abundant in the nervous system, interacts with a pathway called RNAi (RNA interference). When it’s functioning properly, RNAi, which was discovered in 1998, ensures that certain genes are turned on in some cells and turned off in others.

C. elegans that have mutations in their ADAR genes have behavioral defects, according to Bass. For example, mutant worms that lack ADARs have trouble finding food. When placed near food a normal worm crawls quickly to the food but an ADAR mutant may crawl in a completely different direction. To see if ADAR functions were related to the RNAi pathway, Bass and Tonkin made strains of the worm with mutations in both the ADAR genes and in genes required for RNAi.

"Remarkably, in these worms, the behavioral defects associated with the mutations in the ADAR genes were eliminated," Bass said. "This suggests that ADARs intersect with the RNAi pathway and that many of the behavioral defects of ADAR mutants are caused by aberrant RNAi."

RNA is a nucleic acid that is an essential component of all cells. In a process called transcription, the information in our DNA genes is passed to RNA. A second process called translation allows the information in RNA to be turned into protein. Typically, one gene has the information for one protein, but with the help of "editing" enzymes such as ADAR, multiple proteins can be made from one gene.

ADARs enable RNA to produce different proteins by altering the sequence of nucleotides that contain the information for making a protein. That had been considered ADARs’ most important function, but the research of Bass and Tonkin shows that ADARs perform other jobs as well.


###
For information contact:

Brenda L. Bass, Ph.D., 801-581-4884, bbass@howard.genetics.utah.edu

Or

Phil Sahm, U of U Health Sciences Center Office of Public Affairs, 801-581-7387

Brenda Bass, Ph.D. | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uuhsc.utah.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>