home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

RNA Enzymes Use Acid

 
  May, 17 2005 10:00
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
A new way of understanding how RNA molecules may catalyze reactions central to retrovirus replication is presented in a paper published online in the new journal Nature Chemical Biology. The paper, by Joseph Piccirilli and colleagues, shows how a RNA molecule from the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) uses an acidic group to accelerate a chemical reaction central to its life cycle.

The active HDV molecule, or ribozyme, is a catalytic RNA molecule that cuts long RNAs into smaller chunks and is essential for the life cycle of the virus. The three-dimensional structure of the HDV ribozyme previously showed that a cytosine residue was positioned near the chemical reaction site. However, the role of the cytosine has remained mysterious for several years.

Piccirilli shows that catalytic RNAs, like protein enzymes, may use acidic groups to accelerate chemical reactions. By subtly changing the structure of the HDV ribozyme and measuring how each change affected its ability to chop up RNA, the team showed that the central cytosine base acts as a 'general acid' and donates a proton at a key step in the reaction.

This study suggests that RNA bases in ribozyme active sites may be more versatile than was previously thought.

Author contact:

Joseph A. Piccirilli (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Chicago, IL, USA)
E-mail: :jpicciri@uchicago.edu

Additional contact for comment on paper:

Prof. Martha Fedor (The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA)
E-mail:mfedor@scripps.edu

Online publication can be accessed by clicking here.


About Nature Chemical Biology:

Launching in June 2005, Nature Chemical Biology is a new interdisciplinary journal that brings together the most innovative and important advances at the interface of biology and chemistry. This monthly journal will publish research from chemists who are applying the principles, language and tools of chemistry to biological systems and from biologists who seek to understand biological processes at the molecular level. Published in hard copy and online, the journal will include original research papers, supplemented with enhanced content including review articles, News & Views pieces, highlights from and correspondence with the chemical biology community, and commentaries on the field.

(C) Nature Chemical Biology press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.