HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Digging for genetic fossils: Hutchinson Center researchers solve structure of ancient biological molecule

Using an X-ray machine that accelerates particles close to the speed of light, scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have gotten a backward glimpse into primordial biology, capturing the dance of a genetic fossil in motion.

Their work, published today in Nature, is the first to capture the structure and choreography of an intricately folded ancient biological molecule as it twists and turns to carry out its enzymatic function. By solving the 3-D structure of the hairpin ribozyme, found in a virus that infects tobacco plants, lead author Adrian Ferr-D'Amar, Ph.D., and colleagues discovered that it is strikingly similar in function to the well-characterized ribonuclease A protein, whose structure was determined more than 30 years ago. Although these two enzymes are drastically different from a molecular standpoint, their jobs are the same: snipping RNA - an information-containing molecule similar to DNA - into smaller pieces.

"This was probably the biggest surprise of our study," said Ferr-D'Amar, an assistant member of the Hutchinson Center's Basic Sciences Division. "Both enzymes have to twist their RNA substrate in the same fashion in order to cleave it. Because the two enzymes are completely distinct, we'd say this is an example of convergent evolution - each independently evolved the same strategy to do the job, probably because there are limited ways to carry out this kind of chemistry."

Ferr-D'Amar's fascination with RNA stems in part from the theory that it may be the most ancient biological molecule. However, some present-day life forms, such as HIV and poliovirus also use RNA as their genetic material. "Cells need the ability both to store genetic information and to carry out specific functions through a chain of chemical events called catalysis," he said. "Modern cells use DNA for information storage and proteins for doing the catalytic work, but the primordial cell is thought to have used RNA for both processes. The ribozome
'"/>

Contact: Kristen Woodward
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org
206-667-5095
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
11-Apr-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Digging for truth in Guatemala
2. Digging In And Taking Cover
3. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
4. Rare childhood genetic syndrome identified
5. New research shows plants can shuffle and paste gene pieces to generate genetic diversity
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Chemical genetics identifies SARS inhibitors
8. 22nd amino acid synthesized and added to genetic code of e. coli bacteria
9. The impact of genetic variations on the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis
10. Adaptive changes in the genome may provide insight into the genetics of complex disease
11. New genetic hypothesis for the cause of autism

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... Pelican BioThermal ... network station and service center in Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico is the second ... with more than $1.75 billion in pharmaceutical exports since 2015. The Mexico City ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... , ... June 04, 2019 , ... ... announced the appointment of Susan Murphy as the new President of Molecular Devices, ... by Molecular Devices’ parent company, Danaher Corporation. , Since joining Molecular Devices in ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... DIEGO (PRWEB) , ... June 04, 2019 , ... Lajollacooks4u ... of Fame recipients. The recognition, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to businesses ... Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years. , To qualify for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... Object Pharma, Inc., ... strategic acquisition of Metabiologics, Inc., a globally recognized leader in the production and ... commercialization rights to a full spectrum of botulinum neurotoxins, as well as a ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 21, 2019 , ... DuPont Nutrition & ... the inaugural Africa Brewing Conference dedicated to sharing brewing knowledge, strengthening relationships and ... which is supported through a partnership with “Ethiopia Invest”, will run through May ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... May 13, 2019 , ... ... leak testing instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device and Food Packaging Industries’ ... The redesigned website aims to improve LDA’s ability to communicate directly with the ...
(Date:5/7/2019)... ... May 06, 2019 , ... "The ... growing number of repositories being asked to store cellular products being used ... of contributors who are world leaders, who have shared their expertise in building ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: