Breaking News
February 19, 2018 - Surgical infections linked to drug-resistant bugs, study suggests
February 19, 2018 - Poor awareness may hinder a child’s early dental care
February 19, 2018 - FDA Approves Apalutamide (Erleada) to Help Curb a Tough-to-Treat Prostate Cancer
February 19, 2018 - Educational Tool Boosts Cervical Length Screening
February 19, 2018 - Spider’s web inspires removable implant that may control type 1 diabetes
February 19, 2018 - University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela participates in large pancreatic cancer study
February 19, 2018 - New blood test shows promise to revolutionize diagnosis of tick-borne diseases
February 19, 2018 - Report: Use, Not Price, Drives State Health Costs
February 19, 2018 - Emergency services crews often unprepared for diabetic crises
February 19, 2018 - Scientists in Sweden create DNA nanowires that offer hope for treatment of diseases
February 19, 2018 - ID Break: Clean Hands, Fewer Abx; $11 Million HIV Cure?; MenB Vax for Kids
February 19, 2018 - Patient exposure to X-rays depends on how dentists are paid
February 19, 2018 - Study reveals parents’ views toward children’s tanning bed use
February 19, 2018 - Shot may help reduce risk of shingles
February 19, 2018 - FDA approves first treatment to reduce risk of NSCLC progression
February 19, 2018 - FDA Expands Approval of Imfinzi (durvalumab) to Reduce the Risk of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Progressing
February 19, 2018 - D.C. Week: Congress Passes Spending Bill
February 19, 2018 - Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery
February 19, 2018 - FDA Approves First Blood Test to Detect Concussions
February 19, 2018 - Survival Bump in Bladder Cancer with Keytruda
February 18, 2018 - Scientists describe the mechanism of heart regeneration in the zebrafish
February 18, 2018 - Scientists uncover the structure of microtubule motor proteins
February 18, 2018 - Light-activated cancer drugs without toxic side effects are closer to becoming reality
February 18, 2018 - Pioneering research could provide novel insight into how genomic information is read
February 18, 2018 - Pearls From: David Putrino, PhD
February 18, 2018 - Researchers uncover how cancer stem cells drive triple-negative breast cancer
February 18, 2018 - Morning Break: Anti-Anti-Vaxxers; Private Piercings Prohibited; A Case for Pelvic Massage
February 18, 2018 - Lower-dose radiation effective, safe for HPV+ head and neck cancer after induction chemo
February 18, 2018 - Specialist residential service for adults with autism opens in Swansea
February 18, 2018 - FDA Moves to Limit Loperamide Doses per Package
February 18, 2018 - Alcohol use disorder – Genetics Home Reference
February 18, 2018 - Autism might be better detected using new two-minute questionnaire
February 18, 2018 - Hand hygiene-intervention practices may reduce risk of infection among nursing home patients
February 18, 2018 - Researchers develop most sophisticated mini-livers to date
February 18, 2018 - Obamacare Helped More Young Women Get Prenatal Care: Study
February 18, 2018 - School-Based Program Fails to Dent Kids’ Obesity
February 18, 2018 - Research compares neural activity in children with and without autism spectrum disorder
February 18, 2018 - Poor fitness levels increase the risk dementia, concludes study
February 18, 2018 - Risk Score May Reveal if Kids are Victims of Ill-Treatment
February 18, 2018 - Adding Folic Acid to Corn Masa Flour May Prevent Birth Defects
February 18, 2018 - Acute treatment suppresses posttraumatic arthritis in ankle injury
February 18, 2018 - A Role for Budesonide in Autoimmune Hepatitis?
February 18, 2018 - Lupus patients exhibit altered cell proteins, a discovery with potential implications for diagnostics
February 18, 2018 - Muscle plays vital role in regulating heat loss from the hands
February 18, 2018 - High-tech brain scans can provide new way to define intelligence
February 18, 2018 - Study reveals the association between ultra-processed foods and cancer
February 18, 2018 - Prescription Opioid Use Tied to Higher Pneumonia Risk
February 18, 2018 - A non-invasive method to detect Alzheimer’s disease
February 18, 2018 - Deletion of specific enzyme leads to improvement in memory and cognitive functions
February 18, 2018 - Amyloid protein may be transmitted through neurosurgical instruments, study suggests
February 18, 2018 - Electric brain signals of males and females show differences
February 18, 2018 - American Heart Association commends McDonald’s for offering healthier menu in kids’ meals
February 18, 2018 - Parents Find Kids’ Weight Report Cards Hard to Swallow
February 18, 2018 - Does a Financial Conflict of Interest Ever Expire?
February 18, 2018 - Exercise can improve Alzheimer’s symptoms
February 18, 2018 - Scientists develop green chemistry method to improve pharmaceutical manufacturing efficiency
February 17, 2018 - ‘A Time Clock to a Tissue Clock’ for Acute Stroke Care
February 17, 2018 - Cancer Care Gets Personal | NIH News in Health
February 17, 2018 - Do more youth use or do youth use more?
February 17, 2018 - Eating faster linked to obesity
February 17, 2018 - Who’s Still Smoking? ACS Report Highlights Most Vulnerable Adults
February 17, 2018 - Study of smoking and genetics illuminates complexities of blood pressure
February 17, 2018 - Study reveals new link between bone cells and blood glucose level
February 17, 2018 - Children with reading challenges may have lower than expected binocular vision test results
February 17, 2018 - Mass Shootings Trigger Change for Emergency Medicine
February 17, 2018 - ECMO helps revive woman thought to be drowned
February 17, 2018 - Learning stress-reducing techniques may benefit people with epilepsy
February 17, 2018 - Shedding Pounds Before Weight-Loss Surgery a Smart Move
February 17, 2018 - FDA Approves New Cystic Fibrosis Drug Combo
February 17, 2018 - Augmented Reality helps surgeons to ‘see through’ tissue and reconnect blood vessels
February 17, 2018 - Emotional state affects operation of the entire brain instead of being restricted to specific regions
February 17, 2018 - Apalutamide Slows Metastasis in Prostate Cancer
February 17, 2018 - Kids’ well visits linked to lower appendicitis complications
February 17, 2018 - New NK cell-based immunotherapy effective against several types of leukemia
February 17, 2018 - Producing Super-Swelled Lyotropic Crystals for Drug Development
February 17, 2018 - Pfizer Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation from FDA for PF-04965842, an oral JAK1 Inhibitor, for the Treatment of Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis
February 17, 2018 - Molecular Imaging Flags Risk of AAA Rupture
February 17, 2018 - Researchers identify risk factors for sleep apnea during pregnancy
February 17, 2018 - More work required to find the right drug dosage for pediatric patients
February 17, 2018 - Factors ID’d That Predict RA Remission with Etanercept
Researchers uncover new details about function of enigmatic protein

Researchers uncover new details about function of enigmatic protein

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

In a recent study, a research group at MedUni Vienna has published further details about the function of an enigmatic protein. The biological necessity of this protein, which can chemically alter certain building blocks of the genetic information, has been debated for quite a while. The new study now links the enzymatic action of this protein on small RNA molecules which are important for protein synthesis, to potentially far-reaching consequences for the integrity of genetic information, particularly under stress conditions.

Methyltransferases are enzymes that transfer methyl groups to certain building blocks of macromolecules such as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, carrier of genetic information), RNA (ribonucleic acid, transmitter of genetic information) and also proteins (products of the genetic information), and hence modulate the function of these macromolecules. The methyltransferase Dnmt2 was originally described as an enzyme that, by chemically altering the base cytosine in DNA (DNA methylation), can directly influence the packaging of genetic information thereby performing epigenetic functions.

However, it was later discovered that Dnmt2 does not mark cytosine in DNA with methyl groups, but rather cytosine in transfer RNAs (tRNAs; molecules that are essential for protein synthesis) and that this cytosine methylation impacts the stability of tRNAs and probably protein synthesis as well.

Dnmt2-like proteins occur in nearly every organism, which led to the early conclusion that these enzymes perform an important function. However, living organisms in which Dnmt2 has been deactivated, for instance by mutations, manage to survive without this methyltransferase. These observations have puzzled biologists for a long time raising the question as to why Dnmt2-like enzymes have been retained over the course of evolution in the repertoire of the genetic information from bacteria to humans.

An international study led by the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology at MedUni Vienna’s Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology has now shown that the stabilising function of Dnmt2 on tRNAs is required to guarantee the integrity of genetic information, especially during stress conditions. The researchers used Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) as a model organism for their study and describe in the specialist journal “Cell Reports” that without functional Dnmt2, certain regions of the genetic information are lost or can change as a result of recombination. The key indication that these problems can primarily be explained by the loss of tRNA and not DNA functions came from experiments with another evolutionarily highly conserved RNA methyltransferase (NSun2).

“Deciphering the molecular function of these RNA-modifying enzymes is an important step towards a better understanding of the role of the ‘epitranscriptome’ in establishing certain gene expression patterns,” explains lead investigator Matthias Schäfer from the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology at MedUni Vienna’s Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology. “Modulating the expression of certain genes by epigenetic manipulation or by influencing their RNA metabolism through ‘epitranscriptomic’ changes has huge medical potential.”

For example, it might be possible to specifically deactivate damaged genetic information without changing the DNA sequence containing the genetic information by means of ‘epigenetic drugs’. On the other hand, “RNA-based therapeutics are already being tested in clinical trials and we will soon know whether ‘epitranscriptomic’ changes make these medications, for example, more stable or simply allow more efficient transport into target cells or tissues, thereby making them more effective,” adds Schäfer. While epigenetics is already a future-oriented field in medicine, which promises many different possibilities for personalized therapies, the potential of ‘epitranscriptomics’ must still be further defined through continuous basic research before extending personalized therapeutic approaches with ‘epitranscriptomic’ tools.

Soure: http://www.meduniwien.ac.at

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles