HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Nanotech instruments allow first direct observations of RNA 'proofreading'

When Ralph Waldo Emerson said that nature pardons no mistakes, he wasn't thinking about RNA polymerase (RNAP) - the versatile enzyme that copies genes from DNA onto strands of RNA, which then serve as templates for all of the proteins that make life possible.

Emerson's comment notwithstanding, RNAP makes plenty of mistakes but also proofreads and corrects them before they have a chance to create abnormal proteins. The error-prone nature of RNAP is not surprising given the size of its task. In human cells, for example, the RNAP enzyme has to make precise genetic copies from a DNA double helix that consists of billions of chemical bases known as A, T, G and C. It works like this: After latching onto the double helix, RNAP pulls it apart and starts building new RNA molecules by copying one DNA base at a time.

With thousands of A's, T's, G's and C's to transcribe, RNAP sometimes gets confused and copies the wrong base. Such errors occur roughly once every 1,000 bases, but RNAP's remarkable self-correcting mechanism manages to catch most of them.

''If the error is allowed to propagate, it could result in a bad protein or a wrong protein, but RNAP is an incredibly smart enzyme,'' says Steven M. Block, a professor of biological sciences and of applied physics at Stanford University. ''When RNAP adds the wrong base, it backs up on the DNA helix a little bit, cleaves off the piece of RNA that has the bad base in it and starts up again. That's the hypothesis, at least.''

New experiments

In a new study in the journal Nature, Block and his colleagues present strong evidence to support this proofreading hypothesis. Their results - based on actual observations of individual molecules of RNAP - are posted on Nature's website: http://www.nature.com. In another set of experiments published in the Nov. 14 issue of Cell magazine, the researchers discovered that RNAP makes thousands of brief pause
'"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
25-Nov-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. National Academies Advisory: Sept. 18-19 Nanotechnology Conference
2. Nanotechnology pioneer slays grey goo myths
3. Nanotechnology highlights from the ACS national meeting in Anaheim, Calif., March 28-April 1
4. Nanotechnology: sink or swim?
5. Nanotech strategy could create new organs
6. Nanotech decoys for viruses
7. NCAR aircraft, ground instruments to track carbon dioxide uptake
8. Acoustic technique could disinfect medical instruments without heat or harsh chemicals
9. ORNL conducting field test of instruments to detect lead
10. Computer database being developed at Temple will allow for better inventory of chemicals
11. Gene duplication allowed pigs to have more babies

Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/21/2014)... Calif. , Nov. 20, 2014   Atmel® ... leader in microcontroller (MCU) and touch technology solutions, today ... temperature sensors with the widest V cc ... higher temperature accuracy and faster I 2 C bus ... and serial EEPROM memory making them ideal for consumer, ...
(Date:11/15/2014)... YORK , Nov. 13, 2014  While we may ... technology Doctor McCoy used in "Star Trek" to gain instant ... tools designed to work with smartphones and tablets for monitoring ... of the healthcare world. This may seem a tad Orwellian ... ready to adopt some of these technological opportunities into their ...
(Date:11/7/2014)... 2014  In conjunction with the Glendale ... Community Foundation of the Verdugos has announced the " ... a $250,000 initiative to keep the Verdugo Regional Crime Lab ... six months of existence, the Lab has processed more than ... law enforcement. "Because our number one priority is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 2Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 3Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 4Americans May Be Ready for a Brave New World of Healthcare 2Americans May Be Ready for a Brave New World of Healthcare 3Americans May Be Ready for a Brave New World of Healthcare 4Community Foundation Of The Verdugos Unveils Campaign To Fund Glendale-Burbank DNA Justice Project 2
(Date:11/26/2014)... 25, 2014 SonaCare Medical, a ... (HIFU) devices, recently participated in the American Urology ... 360° .” Key opinion leaders in urology presented ... to small renal masses while attendees had the ... technologies in hands-on labs. Attendees at the Los ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... November 25, 2014 The Pittcon marketing ... official conference and exposition mobile app, ... download in the App Store for iOS and Android ... resource tool before, during and after the event. It ... on exhibiting companies, technical sessions, Conferee Networking sessions and ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 SoundConnect , an award ... to announce that Darren Suders has joined the team ... will drive the partner program through innovative ... , Darren brings more than 10-years of channel ... in channel operations, from policy development, to partner education ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 25 novembre 2014 Theravalues Corporation est fier ... marché européen au salon Hi Europe 2014 (du ... ). Curcumine la plus biodisponible actuellement ... (non-cristalline) à des ingrédients approuvés par les règlements ... jaune présent dans la racine de curcuma ( ...
Breaking Biology Technology:SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 3Pittcon Releases 2015 Mobile App 2SoundConnect Appoints Director of Channel Development & Sales 2La curcumine présentant la plus haute biodisponibilité bientôt en vente en Europe 2La curcumine présentant la plus haute biodisponibilité bientôt en vente en Europe 3
Cached News: