Basic RNA enzyme research promises single-molecule biosensors

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Research aimed at teasing apart the workings of RNA enzymes eventually may lead to ways of monitoring fat metabolism and might even assist in the search for signs of life on Mars, according to University of Michigan researcher Nils Walter.

His latest work was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences June 24.

Walter and associates at U-M and colleague Xiaowei Zhuang and associates at Harvard University, use techniques that allow them to study single molecules of RNA enzymes, also known as ribozymes. Like the more familiar protein enzymes, RNA enzymes accelerate chemical reactions inside cells. Researchers want to learn how changes in ribozyme molecules affect their activity, both to better understand how evolution has shaped ribozymes to carry out their duties and to find ways of manipulating them for useful purposes.

In the recent research, Walter's group combined a technique called single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) with mathematical simulations to study a ribozyme involved in the replication of a tobacco-infecting virus. Just as a protein enzyme is not a static structure, a ribozyme also changes shape, cycling back and forth between its compact, catalytically active form and its inactive, extended form. Single-molecule FRET allowed the researchers to directly observe and measure how quickly the ribozyme switched forms and how these rates changed when various parts of the molecule were altered.

With the addition of mathematical simulations, the researchers also could investigate how changing parts of the ribozyme molecule affected its ability to catalyze chemical reactions. They were surprised to find that modifications they made anywhere on the molecule---even far from the site where the chemical reaction occurs---affected the rate of catalysis.

That's much like what is known to happen in protein enzymes, but until now there was no evidence that

Contact: Nancy Ross Flanigan
University of Michigan

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Basic motion measuring technology may be alternative to more expensive testing procedures
2. Basic Research and Higher Education Program Conference breaks new ground
3. Clay M. Armstrong, MD, wins 1999 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
4. Cystic Fibrosis Conference Will Showcase Latest From Clinical Care To Basic Science
5. Butterfly Wings, Beetle Horns Teach Biologists Basic Lesson In Developments Laws
6. Overfeeding Normal Infant Rats Affects Three Generations: Permanently Changes Basic Metabolism, Interferes With Reproduction
7. Ten Years of Progress For Superfund Basic Research Program
8. Anthrax enzyme images reveal secrets of antibiotic resistance, suggest new drug design
9. First glimpse of DNA binding to viral enzyme
10. Two enzymes key to calorie-burning, Brown research shows
11. Argonne scientists determine structure of staph, anthrax enzyme

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to ... High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three ... the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards ... who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 NXTD ) ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to discover and buy ... smart wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... October 26, 2015 ... ReportnsReports.com adds Biometrics Market Shares, ... as well as Emerging Biometrics Technologies: ... to its collection of IT and ... . --> http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/427352-biometrics-market-shares-market-strategies-and-market-forecasts-2015-to-2021.html ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... CHICAGO, Ill. , Nov. 30, 2015  AbbVie, ... all-inclusive program that focuses on a daily routine for ... patients take their medication can affect the way the ... and follow to their a daily routine are important. ... is to help patients better manage their hypothyroidism by ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin Bio Corp, a Korean Biotech venture ... , Bird Free, an oil-based, gel formula ... modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling safe, effective avian control without toxic ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , England , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Medical, an innovative medical device company specializing in imaging technologies, ... from the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 ... company to carry out a large-scale clinical trial in breast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151016/277917) , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... and HOLLISTON, Mass. , ... Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology company developing ... CEO Jim McGorry will present at the ... 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation will ... for 30 days. Management will also be available at ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: