Wednesday, 6 November 2013

RNA Controls Splicing During Gene Expression, Further Evidence of 'RNA World' Origin in Modern Life


RNA is the key functional component of spliceosomes, molecular machines that control how genes are expressed, report scientists from the University of Chicago online, Nov. 6 in Nature. The discovery establishes that RNA, not protein, is responsible for catalyzing this fundamental biological process and enriches the hypothesis that life on earth began in a world based solely on RNA.

"Two of the three major processes in eukaryotic gene expression -- splicing and translation -- are now shown to be catalyzed by RNA," said Jonathan Staley, PhD, associate professor of molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago and co-corresponding author on the study. "The eukaryotic gene expression pathway is more of an RNA-based pathway than protein-based."
For genes to be expressed, DNA must be translated into proteins, the structural and functional molecules that catalyze chemical reactions necessary for life. To do so, genetic information stored in DNA is first copied into strands of messenger RNA (mRNA), which are subsequently used to create proteins.
Via Science Daily