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How the Production of Dysfunctional Proteins are Prevented

University of Göttingen and the University Medicine Centre Göttingen have finally made a discovery regarding the role of mRNA migration in the prevention of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. The researchers explained the necessity of moving the genetic transcripts from Nucleus to the other part of the cell with their experiments. The results of these experiments are published in the science journal, Cell Reports.

According to the results, the movement of genetic transcripts takes place from Nucleus, where DNA copies the blueprint of genetic material of the cell into messenger RNA (mRNA), to Cytoplasm, where the proteins can be produced on the basis of transferred information.

A pre-mRNA is produced that contains the parts which are needed to be removed before the mRNA reaches the cytoplasm. These parts should be removed at the initial stage so that the shortened proteins are not produced.

For this process a molecular machinery, spliceosomes, is produced which contains proteins and snRNA.  This snRNA contains DNA transcripts of another type. These spliceosomes cut the areas of the mRNA before it reaches cytoplasm. After this process, the snRNA also moves into the cytoplasm.

Now the question was that why snRNA migrates to cytoplasm. As spliceosomes’ function is to cut parts of the mRNA in nucleus, so why its component, snRNA, migrates to the other part of the cell. For this the researchers preformed experiments on baker’s yeast. As the result of the experiment the precursors of snRNA did not change in the cytoplasm, and the spliceosomes attempted to work with the unfinished snRNA in nucleus. As a result the whole process was not carried out as usual.

Professor Heike Krebber, Head of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Göttingen, explained that this result concluded their research that in order to prevent the developing spliceosomes from using the precursors of the mRNA, it is necessary for the cell to send these precursors out of the nucleus immediately after they are produced. With this mystery solved, it will be easy to identify the causes of disease development.

SOURCE: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/uog-htc061219.php