mRNA Stability Is Regulated By Dynamic m6A RNA Methylation

December 18, 2013 Milka Rodriguez

Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a single-stranded RNA molecule that is essential in mediating the transfer of genetic information from DNA by serving as a template for protein synthesis. There are several mechanisms involved in regulating the stability of messenger RNA to influence the level and timing of protein production.  Such mechanisms include regulatory elements such as sequence elements or structural motifs that can target mRNA for degradation. Furthermore, post-transcriptional modifications such as dynamic methylation of mRNA could also be involved [more…]

Conserved, Widespread, Dynamic mRNA Methylation Program in Yeast Meiosis Revealed by High-Resolution Mapping

December 4, 2013 Milka Rodriguez

In eukaryotic RNA, the methylation of adenosine at the N6 position to form N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most common and abundant postsynthesis modification known. Until recently, the biological significance of this RNA modification has remained unclear due to technical and experimental limitation. These include: detection methods that are mostly limited to immunoprecipitation; low resolution mapping of m6A around methylation sites which cause precise locations to be unclear; and the lack of an experimental model for depletion of the methylation complex [more…]

RNA-Methylation-Dependent RNA Processing Controls the Speed of the Circadian Clock

November 18, 2013 Milka Rodriguez

Circadian rhythms are the physiological changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, such as the sleep-wake cycle. They are found in most living things including animals, plants and fungi. The mammalian circadian biological clock regulates metabolism via a negative transcription-translation feedback loop of clock genes. Histone protein methylation is an epigenetic modification which has been suggested to be involved in circadian clock regulation; however, the role of RNA methylation in this process is still unknown. The most common and abundant [more…]

New Technique Available to Measure m6A Levels for RNA Methylation Studies

October 22, 2013 WhatIsEpigenetics

Researchers at Epigentek recently developed a new and breakthrough approach to identify the “fifth base” of RNA, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) to efficiently study RNA methylation in a practical and cost-effective manner. The technology is based on a high throughput and strip-well microplate format and is made commercially available as the EpiQuik m6A RNA Methylation Quantification Kit, the first of its kind. It was commonly believed that messenger RNA (mRNA) contains four nucleobases — guanine, adenine, uracil, and cytosine. However in 2012, [more…]

A New Study Shows MicroRNA-26a Targets DNA Demethylation Enzymes

October 16, 2013 WhatIsEpigenetics

In their studies, the scientists at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope demonstrated that Ten eleven translocation (TET) enzymes and thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) can be direct targets of the microRNA miR-26a. These DNA demethylation enzymes are down-regulated in islets during postnatal differentiation, whereas miR-26a is up-regulated. They also report that changes in 5-hydroxymethylcytosine accompany changes in TET mRNA levels and over expression of miR-26a in mice increases postnatal islet cell number in vivo and endocrine/acinar colonies in vitro. [more…]

Targeting Noncoding RNAs in Disease: Challenges and Opportunities

September 13, 2013 WhatIsEpigenetics

Noncoding RNAs make up the majority of transcribed RNA and have a wide range of functions in cellular and developmental processes. Consequently, they are also implicated in the development and pathophysiology of many diseases and represent potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Scientists found that effective in vivo inhibition (or silencing) of microRNA, one class of noncoding RNA, has enabled to make groundbreaking discoveries about the contribution of these short regulating RNAs to some of the major human diseases, such as [more…]

Identifying Site Specific Methylation in tRNAs and Target Substrates of RNA Methyltransferase NSun2

August 26, 2013 Milka Rodriguez

Currently, DNA methylation is one of the most broadly studied and well-characterized epigenetic modifications associated with gene silencing. The biological importance of 5-mC as a major epigenetic modification in phenotype and gene expression has been widely recognized. DNA hypomethylation is likely caused by methyl-deficiency due to a variety of environmental influences and has been proposed as a molecular marker in multiple biological processes such as cancer. The quantification of 5-mC content or global methylation in diseased or environmentally impacted cells [more…]