DNA guidelines might be outrun when it comes to fixing protein assembly. The production of proteins, the basic cellular activity, has been thought until now to be dependent on a DNA instruction, but a recent study reveals that some proteins can issue proteins without a DNA ‘outline’.
The common DNA protein ‘outline’ and a system messenger called RNA (mRNA) are the factors triggering the assembly of proteins from amino acids inside a ribosome, which is a cellular structure.
But a recent research published in the journal Science shows that occasionally, a protein type can alter other proteins by instructing them what type of amino acids they should gather.
The main author behind the research, Peter Shen, a biochemistry postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah noted that this is the type of finding that shows the understanding of biology is still fragmented. He added that nature is fit to do more things that we imagine.
Called Rqc2, the protein has been discovered to interfere when the typical process of protein formation, directed by the DNA, doesn’t work as it should. Ordinarily, when that happens, the ribosome falls to pieces and the partial protein enters a recycling system.
But sometimes the protein Rqc2 intervenes and manages to maintain the ribosome while adding a couple of amino acids, alanine and threonine. The process is repeated again and again.
As a feature of the recycling process, this protein-altering conduct of Rqc2 may be a very important factor keeping the body clean of complete but damaged proteins, according to the researchers.
They believe that the string of amino acids added under the guidelines of Rqc2 could either mark the protein for discarding or they could be away of testing if a new protein structure works properly.
Members of the research team say that their study suggests that the protein assumes the part typically filled by mRNA, theory which overturns what was previously thought of proteins properties.
Using a procedure known as cryo-electron microscopy, the researchers froze and visualized the quality control measures inside cells. At this point they discovered the strange conduct of Rqc2. After catching the protein’s behavior the scientists started doing more tests and examination to see if what they spotted was a pattern or an error.
Badly performed quality checks in the protein generation process may be the cause of a series of diseases. Among them, scientists suspect Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s. For this reason discovering the factors activating Rqc2, why or when it doesn’t become active, might lead to significant advances in creating new treatments for disorders causing the degeneration of cells.
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