Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human cells can copy not only DNA, but also RNA

Date:
August 10, 2010
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Single-molecule sequencing technology has detected and quantified novel small RNAs in human cells that represent entirely new classes of the gene-translating molecules, confirming a long-held but unproven hypothesis that mammalian cells are capable of synthesizing RNA by copying RNA molecules directly.

Single-molecule sequencing technology has detected and quantified novel small RNAs in human cells that represent entirely new classes of the gene-translating molecules, confirming a long-held but unproven hypothesis that mammalian cells are capable of synthesizing RNA by copying RNA molecules directly. The findings were reported in Nature by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Helicos Biosciences Corp., Integromics Inc., and the University of Geneva Medical School.

"For the first time, we have evidence to support the hypothesis that human cells have the widespread ability to copy RNA as well as DNA," said co-author Bino John, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Computational and Systems Biology, Pitt School of Medicine. "These findings emphasize the complexity of human RNA populations and suggest the important role for single-molecule sequencing for accurate and comprehensive genetic profiling."

Scientists had thought that all RNA in human cells was copied from the DNA template, Dr. John explained. The presence of mechanisms that copy RNA into RNA, typically associated with an enzyme called RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, has only been documented in plants and simple organisms, such as yeast, and implicated in regulation of crucial cellular processes. Since thousands of such RNAs have been detected in human cells and because these RNAs have never before been studied, further research could open up new fronts in therapeutics, particularly diagnostics, Dr. John said.

In the study, the researchers profiled small RNAs from human cells and tissues, uncovering several new classes of RNAs, including antisense termini-associated short RNAs, which are likely derived from messenger RNAs of protein-coding genes by yet uncharacterized, pervasive RNA-copying mechanisms in human cancer cell lines.

"This class of non-coding RNA molecules has been historically overlooked because available sequencing platforms often are unable to provide accurate detection and quantification," said Patrice Milos, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Helicos Biosciences. "Our technology provides the platform capability to identify and quantify these RNAs and reinforces the potential clinical advantages of our single molecule-sequencing platform."

Co-authors include A. Paula Monaghan, Ph.D., and Sang Woo Kim, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Sylvain Foissac, Ph.D., Integromics Inc.; Stylianos Antonarakis, M.D., Ph.D., and Christelle Borel, Ph.D., University of Geneva Medical School; and Philipp Kapranov, Ph.D., and others from Helicos BioSciences.

The research was funded by the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Integromics Inc., and Helicos BioSciences Corporation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kapranov et al. New class of gene-termini-associated human RNAs suggests a novel RNA copying mechanism. Nature, 2010; 466 (7306): 642 DOI: 10.1038/nature09190

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Human cells can copy not only DNA, but also RNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122035.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2010, August 10). Human cells can copy not only DNA, but also RNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122035.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Human cells can copy not only DNA, but also RNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122035.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins