Pioneering new research offers new insight into workings of building blocks of life

Pioneering new research could offer a fascinating new insight into how genomic information is read.

DNA molecules design illustration
DNA molecules design illustration Image: Shutterstock

The human genome consists of thousands of genes that need to be copied while gaining the information. Such aggregation involves a factory molecule called RNA polymerase that attaches to DNA at the beginning of a gene. This duplicates the data in the quality into an RNA atom before, at last, ending the translation procedure toward the finish of a quality.

Similarly, as with any arrangement of directions, it is imperative to begin and stop in the right place or else the message, for this situation the RNA transcript, may have neither rhyme nor reason or even reason hurt.

In order to understand, how this transcription process stops, scientists at the University of Exeter have taken a step forward. They used state-of-the-art gene editing approaches to identify the molecular torpedo as an important part of the process.

Dr. West, an Associate Professor in Molecular Biology at the University of Exeter explained: “There have been two models used to explain this. The first, called the allosteric model, suggests that the properties of RNA polymerase are changed at the ends of genes to cause it to stop.”

“The second model is referred to as the torpedo model and proposes that, at the ends of genes, a molecular torpedo jumps onto the RNA and gives chase to the RNA polymerase bumping it off the DNA when it catches it.”

“It is extremely exciting to be able to look at this in more detail than before and to discover more of how the process works.”

During the study, scientists eliminated key components of the mechanism in a very short space of time which gave a better picture of what was happening. They then combined this with a method that uncovers the correct position of RNA polymerase on all qualities in the cell.

Dr. West added: “Many people will be aware of the therapeutic potential of gene editing technology. However, it is also extremely useful as a biological tool to probe cellular processes as we have done. When we used gene-editing to remove the molecular torpedo we were excited to see that the RNA polymerase took much longer to stop and that this problem was evident in most genes.”

The study is published in Genes & Development.