Blue light for RNA control: Researchers at the Universities of Bayreuth and Bonn regulate the activity of RNA molecules

Messenger RNA molecules contain genetic information and thus control the synthesis of proteins in living cells. Biochemists at the University of Bayreuth and the University of Bonn have now discovered a way to regulate this process which is central to gene expression: Certain actinobacteria contain a protein that binds RNA molecules under blue light and can thereby deactivate them. In principle, it is thus possible to switch RNA-controlled protein synthesis on and off via light, not just in bacteria but also in mammalian and even human cells. The findings published in „Nature Chemical Biology“ are the basis for a new field of research: optoribogenetics.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft