RNA secondary constructions can contribute strongly to gene guideline, research shows

RNA secondary constructions can contribute strongly to gene guideline, research shows


  • Post By :

  • Source: Skoltech Center for Life Sciences

  • Date: 22 Apr,2021

A group of scientists from Russia studied the function of double-stranded fragments of the aging RNA and revealed that the interaction between distant areas of the RNA can modulate gene expression. The study was published in Nature Communications.

At school, we learn that DNA is double-stranded and RNA is single-stranded, but that isn’t entirely true. Scientists have encountered many instances of RNA forming a double-stranded (a.k.a. secondary) structure which plays an significant role in the functioning of RNA molecules. These structures are involved in the regulation of gene expression, where the double-stranded regions typically carry particular functions and, if lost, may cause severe disorders. A double-stranded structure is made by sticky complementary areas. For those strands to stick to one another, U and G should appear opposite A and C, respectively. The majority of the sticking regions are located close to one another, but the role of those located far apart has not been well known.

Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Life Sciences (CLS) led by professor Dmitri Pervouchine and their colleagues from Russian and global laboratories used molecular and bioinformatics methods to examine the structure and roles of complementary RNA regions spaced far apart but capable of forming secondary structures. It transpired that the secondary structure plays an important role in the maturation of information-carrying RNA molecules and particularly in splicing, a process where non-coding areas are cut out, and the coding regions are stitched together. The team showed that the RNA secondary structures can modulate splicing and so contribute strongly to gene regulation.

This paper culminates years of research on the RNA secondary structure and its role in the regulation of gene expression. We have published an extensive computation-based catalog of potentially important RNA structures, but the experimental research in this direction is just starting.”

Dmitri Pervouchine, Professor, Skoltech Center for Life Sciences

Journal reference:

Kalmykova, S., et al. (2021) Conserved long-range base pairings are associated with pre-mRNA processing of human genes. Nature Communicationsdoi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22549-7.

About Author