Friday, May 6, 2016

RNA Polymerase Fixes Faulty RNA

RNA polymerase is responsible for transcribing DNA into mRNA. Mutations or changes during transcription may lead to health risks as well as aging. During this transcription step, RNA polymerase is able to find the miscoded DNA and can back track to fix it. Researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology show the dynamics of how backtracking works during transcription. The discovered the RNA polymerase occurs in stepwise mode where RNA moves away from the active site and reaches of “frayed state” before the enzyme can reach the backtracked state. They found that an amino acid serves as a sensing probe to detect faulty RNA chains. These results will provide insight into the fundamental mechanisms of transcription. Their goal for the future is to be able to backtrack the mechanisms for more than one RNA molecule.

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