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Genetic switch potential key to new class of antibiotics

Tags: university of arizona

[Source: ScienceDaily] - Researchers have determined the structure of a key genetic mechanism at work in bacteria, including some that are deadly to humans, in an important step toward the design of a new class of antibiotics, according to an accelerated publication that appeared online April 17 as a "paper of the week" in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Information stored in genes is translated or expressed into proteins, the workhorse molecules that make up the body's structures and carry its messages. In the classical view of gene expression, instructions stored in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) chains are copied into messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNAs). The mRNAs are then transported to ribosomes that pair them with transfer RNAs that contribute amino acids into a protein chain, thereby decoding the gene. In recent years, groundbreaking work has revealed that RNA is much more than a passive middleman, and instead exerts decisive control over expression.

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