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Since the human genome was first sequenced in 2001, scientists have puzzled over swathes of our DNA that despite apparently lacking function are made into ribonucleic acid (RNA) by the cell. Why make RNA at all when it is not then used to make proteins, which perform fundamental biological tasks? Perhaps these so-called non-coding RNAs perform critical, but as yet unknown, tasks?
Scientists from the Universities of Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh have now identified one such non-coding RNA, called Paupar, which influences how healthy brains develop during early life. They have shown that Paupar orchestrates proteins that control neurodevelopment.
KAP1 - Gene - Protein - Processes - Neurodevelopment
They studied KAP1, a gene that codes for an essential protein associated with several fundamental processes in neurodevelopment. The KAP1 protein acts as a regulator for several other genes which allow the brain to grow healthily and develop several types of brain cell.
Using molecular biology techniques they discovered that Paupar can act as a switch, modulating how KAP1 acts by binding to it- thus influencing the development of healthy brains in mice. It is the first time that a non-coding RNA...
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