Molecular Biology

An RNA Mimic of DNA

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Science  19 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5968, pp. 925
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5968.925-c
CREDIT: KINO ET AL., SCI. SIG. 3, RA8 (2010)

RNAs—of the types known in the classical world as ribosomal, transfer, and messenger—are critical for the readout of DNA sequence into protein. On the other hand, numerous regulatory processes are governed by the modern upstarts known collectively as noncoding RNAs. Kino et al. have used a yeast two-hybrid screen to search for genes encoding binding partners for the DNA binding domain of the human glucocorticoid receptor and come upon a noncoding RNA known as growth arrest–specific (Gas) 5, so-called because this single-stranded RNA accumulates in cells exposed to conditions that prevent growth. The glucocorticoid receptor is a ligand-activated transcription factor, and Gas5 binds to the receptor, inhibiting its ability to activate its target genes. The authors propose that a portion of the Gas5 RNA may mimic the glucocorticoid receptor binding site in DNA, establishing another means of modulating the transcriptional activities of nuclear receptors.

Sci. Sig. 3, ra8 (2010).

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