Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Yale scientists find cooperative RNA switches in nature

08.10.2004


Research at Yale reported in the journal Science identifies a new riboswitch (RNA regulatory sequence) class in bacteria that operates as a rare "ON" switch for genetic regulation of the three proteins in a glycine processing system.



"This seems like something only a biochemist can appreciate, but what it really means is that modern RNA has what it takes to run the complex metabolism of life. It is like what would have been needed in an "RNA World" - or a period in evolution where RNA served a much larger role," said Ronald T. Breaker, professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University.

The latest riboswitch is unique because it is the first RNA switch known to have "cooperative binding" to its target, a process that is common in protein enzymes but not usually associated with RNA. It is also surprising that such complex relics of an RNA World are seen in modern organisms.


Breaker and his research team have pioneered the field of riboswitches and reported the existence of nine classes, so far. Earlier this year they reported in the journal Nature on a class of riboswitch that are ribozymes and catalyze their own feedback loop. The work received the highest all time rating of a peer-reviewed scientific paper by the Faculty of 1000, an on-line web resource where top researcher from around the world rank scientific publications

Breaker’s research, testing theories about how life began, led to the synthesis of "RNA switches" that respond to various target compounds, including several molecules of basic metabolism. They speculated that, if an RNA World theory were true, then RNA molecules most likely would make great molecular switches. After creating RNA switches in the lab, including using a process that simulates Darwinian evolution in the test tube, they looked for naturally occurring riboswitches.

Other authors on this paper include Maumita Mandall, Mark Lee, Jeffrey Barrick and Gail Mitchell Emilsson from Yale and Zasha Weinberg and Walter L. Russo from the University of Washington. The work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Yale Liver Center and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Janet Rettig Emanuel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht ‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>