Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemistry: Success Through Cooperation

20.03.2012
Scientists of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, tested a new chemical modification of RNA molecules successfully for the first time.

The results of the close cooperation of two research groups of the Centre for Molecular Biosciences (CMBI) have been published in the journal ACS Chemical Biology.


A fluorescent dye lightens up the modified RNA in the cell. Uni Innsbruck

In biosciences RNA interference has become one of the major tools for analyzing gene function. By using short strands of RNA molecules, scientists can target specific genes in the genome and silence them, which enables the researchers, for example, to determine their biological function in the cell. High expectations have also been placed on this tool to develop new pharmacological therapies to treat diseases. To successfully use RNA in this context, it usually has to be modified chemically. This protects the molecule from degradation processes in the cell, decreases off-target effects and prevents immune reactions. Numerous chemical modifications have been developed and tested since RNA interference was discovered. However, a simple modification of RNA molecules had previously been neglected: coupling an azido group to the molecule. A team of chemists led by Ronald Micura from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Klaus Bister from the Institute of Biochemistry, University of Innsbruck, together with Eric Ennifar, specializing in crystallography at the University of Strasbourg, have tested this chemical modification successfully for the first time.

Modified chemically, same effect biologically

“This modification has been neglected because it cannot be synthesized with the standard method,“ explains Ronald Micura. “Now we have found a way, which is based on standard procedures, to couple the azido group to the RNA.“ After determining its three dimensional crystal structure at the University of Strasbourg, Klaus Bister’s research group tested the biological function of the modified RNA. “In our experiment we used an RNA molecule that specifically suppresses the gene BASP1,” says Bister. “We have been investigating this gene intensively for a while now because it plays an important role in cancer growth and so this project is of very high interest for us.“ Biological analyses in Innsbruck showed that the chemical modification of the RNA did not affect its biological function. “This is very important for its future application,“ explains Katja Fauster, first author of the publication. “Another advantage is that the modification is reactive, which means that we can add additional molecules to the azido group.” The chemists exploited this reactivity in the experiment to lighten up the RNA in the cell by introducing fluorescent dyes.

New building – new communication networks

The two research groups headed by Bister and Micura, who just settled in to the new building called Centrum for Chemistry and Biomedicine (CCB), underline the success of interdisciplinary cooperation within the main research Centre of Molecular Biosciences (CMBI) at the University of Innsbruck. “The only thing that separates us today is a flight of stairs,” says Klaus Bister, who is very happy about the new working and research conditions in the new building. The communicative design of the new building promises an increase in successful joint projects within the main research area. The Innsbruck researchers are supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF and within the framework of the GEN-AU research program funded by the Ministry of Science.

Weitere Informationen:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/cb200510k - 2′-Azido RNA, a Versatile Tool for Chemical Biology: Synthesis, X-ray Structure, siRNA Applications, Click Labeling. Katja Fauster, Markus Hartl, Tobias Santner, Michaela Aigner, Christoph Kreutz, Klaus Bister, Eric Ennifar, Ronald Micura. ACS Chem. Biol., 2012, 7 (3), pp 581-9

http://www.uibk.ac.at/cmbi/ - Center for Molecular Biosciences (CMBI)

Contact:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Klaus Bister
Institute of Biochemistry
University of Innsbruck
phone: +43 512 507 57500
email: klaus.bister@uibk.ac.at
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ronald Micura
Institute of Organic Chemistry
University of Innsbruck
phone: +43 512 507 57710
email: ronald.micura@uibk.ac.at
Dr. Christian Flatz
Büro für Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
University of Innsbruck
phone: +43 512 507 32022
email: christian.flatz@uibk.ac.at

Dr. Christian Flatz | Universität Innsbruck
Further information:
http://www.uibk.ac.at/cmbi/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

nachricht Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>