Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Repeat Protein Products Production Possible From Telomeric RNA, Study Suggests

A pair of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researchers reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences consider the proteins produced through the translation of a guanine-rich RNA sequence called TERRA — an RNA produced by transcribing the repeat sequences found in telomeres. Based on predictions suggesting TERRA translation would lead to the production of a charged repeating valine-arginine (VR) protein and a hydrophobic repeating glycine-leucine (GL) protein, the team synthesized each of the dipeptides and used an anti-VR antibody to track the protein's interactions and location within the cell, using gene knockdown experiments to uncover a boost in VR levels in cells with altered telomere function. "These observations suggest that telomeres, in particular in cells undergoing telomere dysfunction, may express two dipeptide repeat proteins with potentially strong biological properties," they write, noting that the abundance of the repeating dipeptide proteins in question "could alter nucleic acid metabolism and general protein synthesis and trigger cellular inflammation responses." Given these and results, UNC researcher and senior author Jack Griffith speculates in a statement that blood-based tests for the proteins may one day be used to screen for some human diseases or telomere features relevant to aging.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.