Related topics: dna · genes · protein · gene expression · cells

How a viral RNA changes shape to hijack host cells

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus researchers have observed how an RNA molecule from a virus forms a complex, three-dimensional structure, and is able to change its shape to hijack host proteins. The details ...

New cell database paints fuller picture of muscle repair

When a muscle becomes injured, it repairs itself using a flurry of cellular activity, with stem cells splitting and differentiating into many types of specialized cells, each playing an important role in the healing process.

The vast little library inside your cells

The human genome can be thought of as a massive library, containing over 20,000 different "instruction manuals": your genes. For example, there are genes which contain information to build a brain cell, a skin cell, a white ...

Hunting for human obesity genes in fat fruit flies

Fruit flies provide an effective platform for screening new obesity genes, and fat flies implicate a neuronal signaling pathway in weight gain, according to a new study publishing November 4th in the open-access journal PLOS ...

The precise function of the RNA helicases in ribosome synthesis

A new study published in Nature Communications sheds light on the molecular function of one of the enzymes with RNA helicase activity involved in the synthesis process of the large ribosome subunit. By combining biochemical, ...

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RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a biologically important type of molecule that consists of a long chain of nucleotide units. Each nucleotide consists of a nitrogenous base, a ribose sugar, and a phosphate. RNA is very similar to DNA, but differs in a few important structural details: in the cell, RNA is usually single-stranded, while DNA is usually double-stranded; RNA nucleotides contain ribose while DNA contains deoxyribose (a type of ribose that lacks one oxygen atom); and RNA has the base uracil rather than thymine that is present in DNA.

RNA is transcribed from DNA by enzymes called RNA polymerases and is generally further processed by other enzymes. RNA is central to the synthesis of proteins. Here, a type of RNA called messenger RNA carries information from DNA to structures called ribosomes. These ribosomes are made from proteins and ribosomal RNAs, which come together to form a molecular machine that can read messenger RNAs and translate the information they carry into proteins. There are many RNAs with other roles – in particular regulating which genes are expressed, but also as the genomes of most viruses.

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