In DepthBiology

Epigenetics comes to RNA

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Science  05 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6448, pp. 16-17
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6448.16

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Scientists have known for decades that chemical tags on genes can affect their expression without altering the DNA sequence. In recent years, researchers have realized that the marks also decorate messenger RNA (mRNA), the molecule that carries genetic information from DNA to a cell's proteinmaking factories. At a conference in Chicago, Illinois, last month, researchers discussed evidence that chemical modification of mRNA is critical for gene expression and disease, and they described a new chemical modification linked to leukemia. The modifications could even help solve a longstanding mystery in the genetic code.

  • * Ken Garber is a journalist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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