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 Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>