Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A real time look at interactions between RNA and proteins

30.01.2006


Intracellular observation of RNA metabolism will help identify disease-associated RNAs



For the first time, researchers can now peer inside intact cells to not only identify RNA-binding proteins, but also observe–in real-time–the intricate activities of these special molecules that make them key players in managing some of the cell’s most basic functions. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine who developed the new technology see this advance as one of the next logical steps in genomics research. Senior author James Eberwine, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology at Penn, and colleagues published their research this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Now we have a workable system to understand all aspects of RNA metabolism in a cell," say Eberwine. "For the first time, we can study how manipulation of cellular physiology, such as administering a drug, changes RNA-binding protein and RNA interactions. This technology allows us to see that in real time in real cells."


RNA is the genetic material that programs cells to make proteins from DNA’s blueprint and specifies which proteins should be made. There are many types of RNA in the cells of mammals, such as transfer RNA, ribosomal RNA, and messenger RNA–each with a specific purpose in making and manipulating proteins.

The workhorses of the cell, RNA-binding proteins regulate every aspect of RNA function. Indeed, RNA is transported from one site to another inside the cell by RNA-binding proteins; RNA is translated into protein with the help of RNA-binding proteins, and RNA-binding proteins degrade used RNA. "They’re really the master regulators of expression in the cell," says Eberwine.

Using whole neurons from rodents, the researchers were able to identify RNA interactions in live cells. In collaboration with Ûlo Langel from Stockholm University, the Penn investigators devised a many-talented molecule that does not get broken down by enzymes once inside a live cell. One end of the molecule, called a peptide nucleic acid (PNA), has a cell-penetrating peptide called transportan 10 to first get the PNA through the cell membrane. Once in the cell, the PNA binds to a specific target messenger RNA (mRNA). There is also a compound on the molecule that can be activated by light and will cross-link the PNA to whatever protein is nearby. The researchers isolated an array of proteins from the complex of the PNA, the targeted mRNAs, and associated RNA-binding proteins. The cells are then broken apart and the proteins that interact with the mRNA are identified with a mass spectrometer.

With their system, the researchers are trying to identify RNA-binding proteins that bind RNAs of interest–such as those involved in the targeting, degradation, and translation of RNAs into proteins. Once identified, the Eberwine team uses another technology they developed to find the other RNA cargos that bind to that RNA-binding protein. These are other RNAs that likely co-regulate RNAs associated with disease.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Swedish Science Foundation, and the European Community. Study coauthors are Jennifer Zielinski, Tiina Peritz, Jeanine Jochems, Theresa Kannanayakal, and Kevin Miyashiro, from Penn, and Kalle Kilk, Emilia Eiriksdóttir, and Ûlo Langel from Stockholm University, Sweden.

Karen Kreeger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein
24.01.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

nachricht Choreographing the microRNA-target dance
24.01.2017 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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 spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

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.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>