Every great star has a sidekick who sometimes threatens to steal the show: Batman had Robin, Sherlock Holmes had Dr. Watson, and Hillary had Bill. Likewise, some proteins appear to have an intron-encoded miRNA sidekick that neutralizes the “bad guys” so that the protein can effectively perform its cellular function, as demonstrated in a recent […]
Ever get that feeling that you forgot something? Well maybe you did, but it doesn't have to be recent epigenetics research if you scope out our Headlines each week.
The Evil Twin is a staple of the soap opera genre—you know, the long-lost, villainous sister who kidnaps her virtuous twin and assumes her life, only to be discovered years later when the Good Twin escapes from imprisonment on an alien-inhabited desert isle. But in real life, how can identical twins with the same genes […]
Researchers have been puzzled by the discovery of several-kilobase-long, polyadenylated transcripts that overlap functional coding regions but do not themselves encode proteins. A recent Nature paper by Kouji Hirota, Kunihiro Ohta, and co-workers at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute (Japan), the University of Tokyo, and Boston College indicates that some of these ncRNAs are transcriptional […]
Let’s face it: it’s an RNA world. In addition to RNA’s many genetic, catalytic, and structural roles, the discovery of small non-coding RNAs has unveiled an entire continent of epigenetic functions. Small RNAs act in processes such as mRNA destruction, translational inhibition, and DNA methylation. Now it appears that, at least in plants, small RNAs […]
Recent evidence has shown that the let-7 miRNA bites the hand that feeds it . . . and in an unconventional way. By searching for short sequences conserved at the nucleotide level in the coding regions of 17 species, Hilary Coller and co-workers at Princeton University identified three let-7 target sites within the coding sequence […]