Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

RNA Interference – Decision-Making Processes on a Molecular Level

13.07.2007
"How does RNAi work?" Researchers across the world have been trying to answer this question for a number of years. Science has now come closer to finding the answer thanks to a research group headed by Prof. Renée Schroeder (MFPL) and Dr. Javier Martinez (IMBA) based at the Campus Vienna Biocenter. The group's results are being published today in the internationally renowned scientific journal CELL and underline the importance of Austrian RNA research, which is also supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF.

RNA interference (RNAi) is a natural cellular defence and regulation mechanism which works by eliminating unwanted RNA molecules. Its potential for use in therapy was officially recognised last year with the presentation of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Indeed, the first treatments to be based on this mechanism are currently undergoing clinical testing.

Nevertheless, the details of this process still require a great deal of further research and hence, offer potential for optimizing medical treatments based on it.

NO RISC. NO FUN.

... more about:
»Ameres »Biocenter »RISC »RNA »RNA interference

It is precisely this potential that a group at the Campus Vienna Biocenter recently tapped in order to clarify key details surrounding the efficiency of RNA interference. Lead scientist Dr. Stefan L. Ameres from the Max F.

Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), Department for Biochemistry at the University of Vienna, explains – "A key stage of RNA interference is the binding of the RNA that is to be cleaved by RISC, the RNA-induced silencing complex.

Already a lot is known about the subsequent destruction of the target RNA by RISC, but we have only little insight into the initial determination as to which RNAs are bound and how exactly this happens. Working with the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), we have succeeded in making considerable progress towards clarifying this process."

The team initially focussed on characterising the influence of the RNA structure. Variations of an RNA target molecule were created where the RISC binding site became increasingly difficult to access due to structural differences. Dr. Ameres comments on the findings from the experiment: "The results were very clear indeed. The less accessible the binding site, the less efficient the RISC-induced elimination of the target RNA. Based on this data, we concluded that RISC does not possess the means to change the structure of RNA molecules – an important finding towards the effective application of RNAi."

Another result was equally important to the understanding of RNA interference. The strength of the interaction between target RNA and RISC must exceed a certain threshold in order to trigger initiation of the subsequent RNA elimination process. This result clearly indicates that RISC binds RNA in a more or less random process and that it is the strength of this bond that determines the subsequent fate of the RNA. "One way of looking at this is that, while binding its target RNA, RISC has to carry out

a check to ensure that it is only certain RNAs that are destroyed," explains Dr. Ameres.

"PH.D. PROGRAM" CAREER OPPORTUNITY

The publication of these results in the journal CELL highlights not just the quality of RNA research at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (a joint establishment of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna), but also the high standard of training provided for young scientists in dedicated Ph.D. programs. The publication of these results is also the high point of Dr. Ameres' Ph.D. training, which he has now completed in just this type of program. In fact, a special "RNA Biology" Ph.D. program was established at the Campus Vienna Biocenter in June 2007 to ensure that RNA research there retains its leading position in the long term.

The work of molecular biologist Prof. Renée Schroeder also contributed to this achievement. She supported the work of Dr. Ameres using the prize money from the "Wittgenstein Award" presented to her by the FWF in 2003, thereby making an important financial contribution to the continuation of RNA research at the Campus Vienna Biocenter.

Till C. Jelitto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relations/press/pv200707-2en.html

Further reports about: Ameres Biocenter RISC RNA RNA interference

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>