Researchers have long known that the most important molecule in the biology is the messenger RNA. Known as mRNA, this molecule is responsible for overseeing division of cells in the body. Scientists have also debated with the fact that this molecule can be effectively reversed to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Latest research by researchers from Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine has unearthed the process by which mRNA lives and dies.
According to the lead researcher Robert Singer, the life cycle of an mRNA molecule is all set when it is born. The present study was conducted on yeast cells. Advanced techniques were used to study the process in which mRNA progresses during its life time and ultimately die. The advanced microscopes that was used for the study has been developed by Dr. Singer. MRNA is the major link in creation of cells. These molecules contain the copied coded sequences that are used by DNA to produce proteins. The molecule can effectively duplicate the code sequence and create protein molecules. However, in cases when protein levels exceed limits, the mRNA has to be suppressed because the molecule does not come with a sensor that can evaluate protein levels. So, the other cells in the body kill the mRNA to prevent harm to the body. Although researchers have known about this, the manner in which other cells kill the mRNA was not known, until the latest research.
The researchers of the present study emphasized the study of a couple of genes – CLB2 and SW15. These genes are responsible for regulating the cell cycle. During the course of the study, researchers found that mRNA manufactured by these genes come with an additional protein called Dbf2p. as the mRNA further grows, another protein called Dbf20p latches on to it. These are the ticking time bombs present in the mRNA at the time of its birth. After the mRNA has produced sufficient number of proteins, signal is sent to Dbf2p to destroy the molecule. So, in essence, these mRNA molecules are born with timed lives. It is necessary that mRNA dies in order to prevent uncontrolled cell divisions.
Although the studies have been conducted on yeast cells, the researchers are confident that the same phenomenon will be repeated in humans as well. Further studies on the same lines can help researchers find a cure for cancer. The study has profound effects in all spheres of medicine and goes a long way in explaining why all living creatures die.