Genome complexity: squid modify neuron DNA with RNA (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 19:58 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

Another editorial review:

"Longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) are the first known animals that can tweak strings of RNA outside of a nerve cell’s nucleus. These genetic couriers, called messenger RNA, or mRNA, carry a cell’s blueprints for building proteins.

"The squids’ ability to make genetic edits in cytoplasm, the jellylike material that makes up much of a cell, may let the animals make adjustments to mRNAs on the fly. That skill could help squids produce proteins tailored to meet a cell’s needs and hone crucial cell processes, researchers report March 23 in Nucleic Acids Research.


'In the new study, Rosenthal and colleagues first looked at where an mRNA-editing protein is found in squid nerve cells, or neurons. The team discovered that the protein, called ADAR2, is located in both the jellylike cytoplasm and the nucleus of squid neurons, a hint that the protein could edit mRNAs in both areas.

"The team then extracted cytoplasm from squid axons — the slender stalk of a neuron — “kind of like you’re squeezing toothpaste out of the tube,” Rosenthal says. ADAR2 extensively edited an mRNA within the cytoplasm siphoned from the axons, which help send electrical impulses along nerve cells, the researchers found."

Comment: Editing from RNA reactions the cytoplasm instead of direct change in the nucleus is an unusual new finding.

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