Scientists have found that living cells will sometimes “shoot the messenger” as a way to halt production of certain proteins
The study, published in the May 21 issue of the journal Molecular Cell, shows that cells sometimes destroy the chemical messages that contain information for making proteins even as the messages are being “read.” The work was done by scientists at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
The findings describe a poorly understood biochemical mechanism that cells may use to suddenly stop producing proteins like growth factors that activate genes in response to a hormone or other signaling chemical. The mechanism also plays a key role in Cooley’s anemia, which causes the loss of red blood cells in infants and children, and may contribute to changes in gene activation in cancer.
Darrell E. Ward | OSU
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