DNA-RNA mismatch

There may be widespread, nonrandom differences between DNA sequences and their corresponding RNA transcripts in human cells

Megan Scudellari
May 18, 2011
The central dogma in molecular biology states that DNA is copied into RNA, one nucleotide at a time. But it turns out that copy may be a lot less exact than scientists previously thought.
linkurl:iStockphoto.com;iStockphoto.com
A new paper, published today in linkurl:Science,;http://www.sciencexpress.org identifies widespread differences between DNA sequences and their corresponding RNA transcripts in human cells, and demonstrates that these differences result in proteins that do not precisely match the genes that encode them.The finding challenges the assumption that RNA is a perfect one-to-one match to its corresponding DNA sequence and may open the door to an unexplored area of variation in the human genome."Most people assume the information in DNA is faithfully transferred to RNA and then the RNA is translated into proteins," said linkurl:Jin Billy Li,;http://lilab.stanford.edu/index.html a geneticist at Stanford University who was not involved in the research. If additional research confirms the results, "the central...
Li, M., et al., "Widespread RNA and DNA sequence differences in the human transcriptome," Science, doi: 10.1126/science.1207018, 2011.



Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?