Navigation Links
U of T-led study cracks universal RNA code, suggests a new cause for autism
Date:7/12/2013

The discovery cracks the "RNA control code," which dictates how RNA a family of molecules that mediates DNA expression moves genetic information from DNA to create proteins.

"For the first time, we understand the language of a code that is essential to gene processing," said Quaid Morris, a Professor in U of T's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research. "Many human diseases are due to defects in this code, so figuring out what it means is crucial to creating new treatments for many conditions."

The scientific journal Nature published the study results in its July 11, 2013 issue.

The researchers translated the code with a biochemical technique developed by a research scientist in Hughes' lab, Debashish Ray, and a student in Morris's lab, Hilal Kazan. The team defined the meaning of "words" in RNA, allowing identification of patterns in RNA molecules that proteins use to control RNA processing and movement, which are often altered in disease.

One protein they looked at may explain some of the symptoms in children with autism. The researchers found that RBFOX1, a protein often turned off in the brains of patients, ensures the activity of genes important for the function of nerve cells in the brain.

"This was a surprising finding, because we knew RBFOX1 controls gene expression, but had no idea it also stabilizes RNA," said Tim Hughes, a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and the Donnelly Centre. "It's a good example of the predictive power of the RNA control code, which we think will really open up the field of gene regulation."

Hughes said the work also shows that the RNA control code may be easier to interpret than a similar control code in DNA. Researchers have been struggling for years to understand this DNA control code, but the new results suggest RNA control could offer a more fruitful area of inquiry, with autism as just one example.

The team is now working with autism experts to assess the potential of RBFOX1 in autism therapies, and exploring promising leads on the roles of unstudied proteins in many other diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Oldfield
jim.oldfield@utoronto.ca
416-946-8423
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Vanderbilt-led team to develop microbrain to improve drug testing
2. Study finds surprising benefits about diary cow inflammation
3. Metastatic pancreatic, primary breast cancer have common growth mechanisms, study suggests
4. Journal highlights Arctic sea ice study by UM professor
5. Innovative MIT study estimates extent to which air pollution in China shortens human lives
6. Temperature increases causing tropical forests to blossom, according to study
7. New study reveals important role of insulin in making breast milk
8. Study reveals ancient jigsaw puzzle of past supercontinent
9. Reproductive BioMedicine Online publishes study on assisted reproduction
10. Lifesaving HIV treatment could reach millions more people following landmark study
11. Low levels of toxic proteins linked to brain diseases, study suggests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/14/2016)... SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ... in providing critical wireless communications for use in challenging ... ended September 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference ... at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (details below). ... announced a $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, the ... to industry to share solutions for the Biometric Exit ... Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends ... departing the United States , in ... to defeat imposters. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is ... log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ANN ARBOR, Mich. , Dec. 7, 2016 ... breakthrough immune modulatory medicines, announced today the initiation of ... therapeutic candidate, LYC-30937- E nteric C oated, in ... disease that is estimated to affect as many as ... , with approximately 1.5 - 3 million cases being ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... and Azusa, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, ... ... of distributed wastewater treatment and resource recovery solutions for industrial facilities, today announced ... , will be the first to use Cambrian’s novel water-energy purchase agreement (WEPA). ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 07, 2016 , ... JULABO USA is inviting visitors to ... website has been designed to provide the best user-friendly experience coupled with intuitive ... product information, read educational industry content as well as share information across all ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... , ... Kara Dwyer Dodge grew up hearing stories of the sea monster her father pulled ... a sea turtle entangled in the lines of one of his lobster pots. He freed ... no one could remember ever seeing one so large so close to shore. After a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: