HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Atomic-resolution structure of a ribozyme yields insights into RNA catalysis and the origins of life

Santa Cruz, CA -- Which came first, nucleic acids or proteins? This question is molecular biology's version of the "chicken-or-the-egg" riddle. Genes made of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) contain the instructions for making proteins, but enzymes made of proteins are needed to replicate genes. For those who try to understand how life originated, this once seemed an intractable paradox.

The solution came with the discovery 20 years ago that certain types of RNA can act as enzymes, catalyzing reactions just as enzymes made of protein do. This means, in principle, that a single type of molecule, RNA, might be able to both encode information and replicate it. The idea that the first self-replicating molecules in a pre-biotic primordial soup were composed of RNA, known as the "RNA World" hypothesis, is one of the central tenets upon which many theories of the origin of life are now based.

Research on the structure and function of RNA enzymes, or ribozymes, has been one of the main activities in the Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as many other laboratories throughout the world. In addition to offering glimpses into how life may have originated, ribozymes are also being engineered in many academic and industrial laboratories to be therapeutic agents for potential use in fighting infectious and chronic diseases.

Scientists at UCSC's RNA Center have now obtained a near-atomic resolution image of the three-dimensional shape of a very simple--and therefore potentially understandable--ribozyme in which the atoms are uniquely arranged and poised for catalysis in the context of an intricately twisted and folded segment of RNA. The new findings are described in a paper by graduate student Monika Martick and her adviser, William Scott, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, in the July 27 issue of the journal Cell. The paper will be available online on July 20 at

Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz
20-Jul-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Scientists discover new way to study nanostructures
2. How to structure a complex body plan
3. Crystal structure enables tailoring of pharmaceuticals against asthma
4. HWI researchers determine structure of protein from pathogen associated with CF and TB
5. In search of the biological significance of modular structures in protein networks
6. New designer lipid-like peptide with lipid nanostructures for drug delivery systems
7. Decoding protein structures helps illuminate cause of diabetes
8. Automatic identification of proteins critical features from the structure
9. ATR checkpoint-activating DNA structure
10. Scientists reveal structure of gateways to gene control
11. Protein structures for the entire yeast proteome

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


(Date:8/23/2020)... ... August 21, 2020 , ... The August edition of ... now available on the company’s global website. Crystallography Times—an electronic newsletter published by ... news and crystallographic research. , The latest issue of Crystallography Times introduces ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... CARLSBAD, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2020 ... ... of both Salimetrics LLC and SalivaBio LLC, businesses dedicated to Salivary Bioscience for ... co-editor of the recently published book by Springer, " Salivary Bioscience: Foundations of ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... ... August 20, 2020 , ... NDA Partners Chairman ... Operations executive with expertise in clinical trial planning and feasibility, regulatory inspection readiness, ... Consultant. Throughout his career, Mr. Movahhed has helped design and manage oncology, neurology, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/7/2020)... ... August 06, 2020 , ... ... announces it has closed on the purchase of greenfield for a new, expanded ... and includes over 21 acres in the initial acquisition, with an option to ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... transmitter systems that can be configured to drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, and magnetrons. ... drive one or two switches in a push-pull configuration; yielding fast fall time ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 30, 2020 , ... ... for the life sciences industry, today announced the release of its signature ... for Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) and other field medical professionals. , ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... and global consulting firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased ... new Director of Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: