Home » Design inference, News » Double-RNA structure directs bacterial protein scissors, used on foreign DNA

Double-RNA structure directs bacterial protein scissors, used on foreign DNA

From “Programmable DNA Scissors Found for Bacterial Immune System” (ScienceDaily, June 28, 2012), we learn:

Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist with Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division and professor at the University of California (UC) Berkeley, helped lead the team that identified a double-RNA structure responsible for directing a bacterial protein to cleave foreign DNA at specific nucleotide sequences. Furthermore, the research team found that it is possible to program the protein with a single RNA to enable cleavage of essentially any DNA sequence.

“We’ve discovered the mechanism behind the RNA-guided cleavage of double-stranded DNA that is central to the bacterial acquired immunity system,” says Doudna, … “Our results could provide genetic engineers with a new and promising alternative to artificial enzymes for gene targeting and genome editing in bacteria and other cell types.”

“It is well-established that CRISPR systems can be transplanted into heterologous bacterial strains,” she says. “Also, there is evidence to suggest that CRISPR loci are horizontally transferred in nature.”

Doudna and her colleagues are now in the process of gathering more details on how the RNA-guided cleavage reaction works and testing whether the system will work in eukaryotic organisms including fungi, worms, plants and human cells.

If the researchers can reprogram it, we may as well assume it was programmed before.

From “Programmable DNA Scissors Found for Bacterial Immune System” (ScienceDaily, June 28, 2012), we learn:

Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist with Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division and professor at the University of California (UC) Berkeley, helped lead the team that identified a double-RNA structure responsible for directing a bacterial protein to cleave foreign DNA at specific nucleotide sequences. Furthermore, the research team found that it is possible to program the protein with a single RNA to enable cleavage of essentially any DNA sequence.

“We’ve discovered the mechanism behind the RNA-guided cleavage of double-stranded DNA that is central to the bacterial acquired immunity system,” says Doudna, … “Our results could provide genetic engineers with a new and promising alternative to artificial enzymes for gene targeting and genome editing in bacteria and other cell types.”

“It is well-established that CRISPR systems can be transplanted into heterologous bacterial strains,” she says. “Also, there is evidence to suggest that CRISPR loci are horizontally transferred in nature.”

Doudna and her colleagues are now in the process of gathering more details on how the RNA-guided cleavage reaction works and testing whether the system will work in eukaryotic organisms including fungi, worms, plants and human cells.

If the researchers can reprogram it, we may as well assume it was programmed before.

See also: Never mind horizontal gene transfer, now the rap is horizontal gene THEFT

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