Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Fruit Fly Model Used to Detect Proteins Coded by Circular RNAs

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 06 Apr 2017
Print article
Image: Circular RNAs (circRNA) are produced in the cell nucleus after they are copied from the DNA and closed. Some circRNAs are translated and produce protein once they are exported from the nucleus (Photo courtesy of Dr. Sebastian Kadener, Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
Image: Circular RNAs (circRNA) are produced in the cell nucleus after they are copied from the DNA and closed. Some circRNAs are translated and produce protein once they are exported from the nucleus (Photo courtesy of Dr. Sebastian Kadener, Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
An international team of molecular biologists used a Drosophila (fruit fly) model to demonstrate that proteins could be synthesized from genetic information contained in molecules of circular RNA (circRNA).

CircRNAs in animals form a large class of particularly stable RNAs produced by circularization of specific exons. Typically, circRNAs arise from otherwise protein-coding genes, but circular RNAs produced in the cell had not been shown previously to code for proteins and were categorized as noncoding RNAs. While some circular RNAs have recently shown potential as gene regulators the biological function of most circular RNAs was unclear.

Investigators at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and their colleagues at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association used a fruit fly model system and developed or adapted various techniques from molecular biology, computational biochemistry, and neurobiology to show that specific circRNA molecules were bound to ribosomes, the cellular organelles responsible for protein synthesis.

Furthermore, the investigators detected proteins produced from these molecules. Since circular RNAs do not have 5' or 3' ends, they are resistant to exonuclease-mediated degradation and are presumably more stable than most linear RNAs in cells.

In particular, the investigators reported in the March 23, 2017, online edition of the journal Molecular Cell that a circRNA generated from the muscleblind locus encoded a protein, which they detected in fly head extracts by mass spectrometry.

Senior author Dr. Sebastian Kadener, professor of biological chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said, "By identifying the function of circRNAs, this research helps advance our understanding of molecular biology, and can be helpful in understanding aging or neurodegenerative diseases."

Dr. Nikolaus Rajewsky, professor for systems biology at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association said, "We think that translation of circRNAs is very interesting and that its prevalence and importance must be further investigated."


Print article

Channels

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Business

view channel

Collaborative Agreement to Aid in Setting Guidelines for Evaluating Potential Ebola Therapy

Cooperation between an Israeli biopharmaceutical company and medical branches of the US government is designed to set ground rules for continued evaluation of an experimental therapy for Ebola virus disease. RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel), a biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on development and c... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2017 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.