An ancient RNA molecule is the answer to a bacterial mystery, according to a study published in linkurl:Science; tomorrow (July 18). Researchers have identified the binding molecule of a key messenger in bacteria, but to their surprise, the molecule was not a protein -- traditionally thought of as regulators of cellular processes -- but a unique RNA trigger. In the last six years, RNA triggers, called linkurl:riboswitches,; have emerged as surprising regulators of gene expression -- a role previously ascribed almost exclusively to proteins. "I think if in 2001 you were proposing that bacteria were loaded with flavors of riboswitches" that manipulate genetic expression, said linkurl:Ron Breaker; of Yale University and senior author of the paper, "you'd lose all scientific credibility." The riboswitch his group identified, which binds the bacterial second messenger cyclic di-GMP, is the newest addition to a string of linkurl:recent riboswitch discoveries.; But it is...
Vibrio cholerae,Bacillus cereusClostridium difficileV. cholerae,

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?