Noncoding RNAs

Signaling stress

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 537
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6234.537-b

Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs)—small noncoding RNAs better known for their roles as sequence guides for modification of other RNAs—may function to promote elimination of damaged cells undergoing metabolic stress. Youssef et al. explored RNA binding partners of the protein kinase PKR (protein kinase RNA–activated) and found them to be enriched in snoRNAs. Such binding activated PKR and was increased in cells treated with palmitic acid to mimic the metabolic stress seen in obese animals. Thus, snoRNAs appear to link metabolic stress to the activation of PKR, which in turn inhibits protein synthesis and promotes the death of stressed cells.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1424044112 (2015).

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