Navigation Links
Case Western Reserve University researcher demonstrates that messenger RNA are lost in translation

CLEVELAND August 23, 2009 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine assistant professor in the Center for RNA Molecular Biology, Jeff Coller, Ph.D., and his team discovered that messenger RNA (mRNA) predominately degrade on ribosomes, fundamentally altering a common understanding of how gene expression is controlled within the cell. The study, "Co-translational mRNA decay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae", is published in the latest issue of Nature.

"Many genetic diseases are linked to mutations that can cause mis-regulation of RNA destruction so it's important to know the when, where and how the cell normally controls the process of mRNA decay," said Dr. Coller.

mRNA communicates genetic information from DNA to ribosomes where the information is converted to proteins. Proteins catalyze the reactions of life and how much protein is made is critical to fine tune the function of the cell. This means that the amount of mRNA present within the cell is vital for overall cellular health.

The rates of RNA synthesis and destruction determine the overall levels of mRNA. While the details of mRNA synthesis have been studied intensely over the years, the mechanism(s) controlling mRNA decay remain unclear. Prior to Dr. Coller's study it had been thought that once an mRNA had ended its utility it was removed from ribosomes and possibly transported to specialized structures within the cell, called P-bodies, where they are eventually destroyed.

Contrary to this prediction, Dr. Coller's research demonstrates that decay takes place while mRNAs are associated with actively translating ribosomes.

"The data clearly indicate that sequestration into a ribosome-free state (like a P-body) is not a prerequisite for initiation of mRNA decay," said Dr. Coller. Moreover, Dr. Coller and colleagues believe that this new understanding provides an evolutionary explanation for the nature of the decay pathway and may lead into new insights into how cytoplasmic gene regulation occurs, offering insight into disease states that result when things go awry.

"A lot is known about how mRNAs are made, but much less is understood about the mechanisms that control their destruction," said Michael Bender, Ph.D., who oversees RNA processing grants at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. "This work breaks new ground by shedding light on one of the cell's major mRNA degradation pathwaysa key regulatory point for gene expressionand by challenging accepted models of mRNA decay."

Dr. Coller's findings raise several interesting mechanistic questions, for instance how mRNA's are destroyed at different rates. Some are long lived, some short lived. Scientists currently do not understand how these differences in mRNA decay rate are determined, but clearly this understanding is vital for predicting how mutations will impact cellular function.

"Now that we have found that mRNAs are degraded on ribosomes we can begin to understand how the degradation machinery interacts with ribosomes and how it is triggered to destroy the message," said Dr. Coller. "Eventually, we hope to create a rule book that would allow us to predict which mRNA is going to last only a few minutes and which will be expressed hours or days. This has huge impact on cellular protein levels and perhaps this understanding would lead to new advances in gene therapy and viral vaccinations."


Contact: Christina DeAngelis
Case Western Reserve University

Related biology news :

1. Case Western Reserve University receives $4M from the NIBIB
2. Honey bee health of concern at Western Apicultural Society conference
3. New dinosaur species possible in Northwestern Alberta
4. UT Southwestern researchers probe kidney damage, protection in lupus
5. GSA special paper presents new studies of Western US earth motion
6. Case Western Reserve University engineers hit pay dirt with clay mixture
7. Case Western Reserve University receives $1.66m grant from NIH for otoprotection research
8. The fragility of the worlds coral is revealed through a study of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
9. Collaboration leads to success: Most powerful computer of its kind in western N.Y. available worldwide
10. Diabetics on high-fiber diets might need extra calcium, report UT Southwestern researchers
11. Two UT Southwestern researchers awarded Sloan fellowships
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical research organization (CRO), ... anonymization solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is designed to assist ... with policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in meeting ... ... ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations ... of face and eye tracking software, became the ... program. "Artificial intelligence and advanced ... monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the ... to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... age and identity verification solutions, announced today they will ... 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... International Trade Center. Identity impacts the ... in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer ... treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing ... HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August ... MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt ... to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the ... RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. ... need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: