Navigation Links
Case researcher in RNA biology makes waves by challenging current thinking
Date:1/18/2008

In the January 18th issue of Molecular Cell, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher Kristian E. Baker, Ph.D. challenges molecular biologys established body of evidence and widely-accepted model for nonsense-mediated messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) decay. With her collaborator, Ambro van Hoof, Ph.D. of The University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Baker directly tested the faux 3 UTR model and proved it could not explain how cells recognize and destroy deviant mRNA. This landmark discovery will redirect mRNA research and expand opportunities for new discoveries in understanding the cells ability to protect itself from these potential errors.

In all cells, including human, mRNA is a copy of the information carried by a gene on the DNA. Occasionally, mRNA contains errors that can make the information it carries unusable. Cells posses a remarkable mechanism to detect these aberrant mRNAs and eliminate them from the cell this process represents a very important quality control system for gene expression. A significant amount of past research in this area of RNA biology has collected data to support the faux 3 UTR model for mRNA quality control, and, as a result, has shaped present research directions in the field, said Baker. Our recent findings preclude this explanation and will, undoubtedly, result in a rethinking by many as to how to experimentally approach this important cellular process.

For decades researchers have been puzzled by cells ability to differentiate between normal mRNA and those carrying certain types of mutations. mRNA transports DNAs genetic coding information to the sites of protein synthesis: ribosomes. Cells are able to identify mRNA carrying a mutation and prevent it from reaching the protein synthesis phase. Once identified, the cell destroys the abnormal, mutated mRNA. This naturally occurring process ensures malfunctioning proteins are not produced. Using a yeast model system, Bakers research offers a better understanding of this mRNA quality control process which closely mimics the process in human cells.

Bakers research on nonsense-mediated mRNA decay not only provides an advanced understanding of an important process in the regulation of gene expression, but may help lead to new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of genetic diseases. Many inherited conditions, including cystic fibrosis, are a consequence of mutations resulting in the recognition of non-functional mRNA and the subsequent elimination by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Because cells eliminate the abnormal mRNA, no protein is produced. With genetic diseases, researchers are hypothesizing it might be beneficial for the cell to express the protein, even though it is not completely functional. The rational is it will be better for these patients to have protein of some function rather than no protein at all. Cystic fibrosis clinical trials are currently underway with a goal of producing the partially functional proteins, before the cells natural elimination process takes place. Using Bakers findings, researchers will have a better understanding of how to modulate the recognition of the abnormal mRNAs as to allow the mRNA to remain in the cell and produce the protein.

This finding is an important step in advancing our understanding of mRNA function, said Baker. In addition, it emphasizes the important link between basic and clinical science; the more we understand the basic biological processes that are underway in the cell, the better equipped we are to directly address clinical therapies.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessica Studeny
jessica.studeny@case.edu
216-368-4692
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
2. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
3. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
4. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
5. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
6. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
8. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
9. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
10. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
11. Antioxidant to retard wrinkles discovered by Hebrew University researcher
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)...   The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... capability in which consumers will be able to interact with ... via voice or text and receive relevant information about the ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create ... relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a ... the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making ... aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , ... the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was ... 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings ... flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... solutions for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter ... their care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. ... the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ... entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading ... was today awarded as one of the World ... world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering ... real world in the nutrition, health and consumer ... with customers including Fortune 500 companies to design ...
Breaking Biology Technology: