Researchers reveal Argonaute2 as the catalytic engine of mammalian RNA interference
RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a fundamentally important biological phenomenon and as a versatile, powerful tool for biomedical research. In organisms from fungi and flies to plants and mammals, RNAi plays a multifaceted role in molecular biology by silencing genes through chromatin remodeling, interfering with protein synthesis, and--in its best-studied mode of action--quashing gene expression by cleaving messenger RNA. Experimental applications of RNAi have spurred the exploration of gene function in many basic research, drug discovery, and clinical settings. Until now, however, the identity of the molecular scissors that carry out RNAi-mediated messenger RNA cleavage has not been revealed.
Two studies published this week in Science have resolved this mystery by establishing that Argonaute2, a signature protein component of the RNA interference machinery, provides the cutting action that carries out RNAi-mediated messenger RNA cleavage. The studies were conducted at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory by research groups led by Greg Hannon and Leemor Joshua-Tor.
Peter Sherwood | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
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