Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A kiss that binds

18.04.2005


Understanding the interaction of Fragile X mental retardation protein and kissing complex RNAs



Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation, affecting approximately 1 in 3600 males and 1 in 4000-6000 females. Fragile X syndrome results from loss of expression of the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), the product of the FMR1 gene. Now, Drs. Robert and Jennifer Darnell and colleagues, from The Rockefeller University, report the uncovering of a new interaction between FMRP and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) containing a tertiary RNA structure termed a "kissing complex".
Their studies, published in the April 15th issue of Genes & Development, provide a new direction for efforts to understand how the loss of FMRP function leads to the complex behavioral and cognitive defects characteristic of Fragile X syndrome.

While the importance of identifying a function for FMRP has been clear for some time, what this function actually is has continued to evade researchers. FMRP is a protein characterized by the presence of three RNA binding domains: two tandem KH-type RNA binding domains and an RGG box. Scientists have focused on the identification of FMRP RNA ligands in an effort to understand FMRP function. This effort is particularly meaningful since FMRP is believed to regulate mRNA translation in the brain, and identifying the mRNA targets of this regulation would be a huge step in understanding how loss of this protein results in the varied and complex phenotypes of Fragile X syndrome.



In most Fragile X patients, loss of FMRP is due to silencing of FMR1 resulting from the unusual amplification of a CGG repeat (over 200 copies in affected patients versus less than 60 copies in unaffected individuals) that leads to hypermethylation of FMR1 and shut down of transcription of the gene. However, Fragile X patients expressing mutations or deletions within the FMR1 gene have also been described, including a severely affected patient harboring a missense mutation that resulted in a one amino acid change, isoleucine at position 304 for asparagine, in one of the KH domains of FMRP, KH2.

Dr. Darnell and colleagues focused on understanding how this specific mutation leads to loss of FMRP function. They first screened an RNA library to identify what RNA motif is recognized by the KH2 domain. They found that the KH2 domain of FMRP recognizes a loop-loop pseudoknot, or "kissing complex" structure in the RNA, and that this recognition is abrogated by the isoleucine to asparagine mutation. Notably, they show that the association of FMRP with the translation machinery (in brain polyribosomes) can be competed out with kissing complex RNA, an important finding since previous biochemical studies have reported altered polyribosome distribution of mRNAs in Fragile X patients.

These findings will redirect the search for the RNA targets of FMRP whose misregulation is responsible for the disease, to those containing kissing complex motifs.

Though much remains to be understood in the biology leading to Fragile X syndrome and the function of FMRP, Dr. Darnell is confident that "these findings may provide a crucial link between the association of FMRP in brain polyribosomes, its proposed role in regulation mRNA translation, and neurologic dysfunction in the Fragile X syndrome".

Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State

nachricht New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>