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A New Important Function of RNA Modification in Human Cells Is Uncovered

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9 APR

A New Important Function of RNA Modification in Human Cells Is Uncovered

Hematopoietic stem cells, that form mature blood cells, require a very precise amount of protein to function — and defective regulation of protein production is common in certain types of aggressive human blood cancers.Now, a research team has uncovered a completely new mechanism that controls how proteins are produced to direct stem cell function.

Dr. Bellodi’s laboratory uncovered a new important function of pseudouridine, the most common type of RNA modification in human cells.

RNA is the essential molecule that decodes the genetic information in humans. It is emerging that the chemical structure of RNA molecules is extensively modified by specific enzymes normally present in our cells, which are commonly found to be altered in severe medical syndromes and various types of cancers. However, the contribution of RNA modifications in human development and disease is still mostly unexplored.

“Understanding the function of RNA modifications represents a new exciting research area. We still know very little about the mechanisms by which RNA molecules are modified, and whether this affects important biological processes in our cells. Therefore, it is essential that we learn how specific types of chemical modifications normally regulate RNA function in our cells, in order to understand how dysregulation of this process contributes to human disease,” says Bellodi.

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