Tag: RNA

Illustration of a brain containing RNAs

Network of diverse noncoding RNAs acts in the brain

June 7, 2018

First known network consisting of three types of regulatory RNAs is identified

Whitehead Member Ankur Jain

Ankur Jain Joins Whitehead Institute

June 5, 2018

Jain will investigate the biology of RNA aggregation

Image of fish and RNA hairpins

Pairing mismatch helps impaired fish RNA cleavage proceed swimmingly

December 21, 2017

Researchers at Whitehead Institute have uncovered how small changes in the fish Argonaute (Ago) protein, an RNA slicing protein, that happened in its lineage an estimated 300 million years ago greatly diminished the efficiency of RNAi in these animals, while another ancestral feature, in a critical pre-microRNA, was retained that enabled the microRNA to still be produced despite the fish’s impaired Ago protein.

Diagram of  high-throughput sequencing-based method that measures the poly(A) tails of individual messenger RNA molecules

A protein-production tale of the tape: separating poly(A)-tail length from translational efficiency

January 29, 2014

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that poly(A) tails on messenger RNAs (mRNAs) shift their role in the regulation of protein production during early embryogenesis. This finding about the regulation of mRNA translation also provides insight into how microRNAs control protein production. 

Model of eukaryotic argonaute protein

Structure of RNAi complex now crystal clear

June 20, 2012

Researchers at Whitehead Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have defined and analyzed the crystal structure of a yeast Argonaute protein bound to RNA.

Noncoding RNAs alter yeast phenotypes in a site-specific manner

February 14, 2012

A team of scientists from Whitehead Institute and other institutions has shown for the first time how two long intergenic noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) in brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) contribute to a location-dependent switch for the yeast FLO11 gene to toggle between active and inactive states.

Photos of zebrafish heads, one with reduced lincRNA megamind production and an enlarged head, and the other normal megamind production and head size

Long intervening non-coding RNAs play pivotal roles in brain development

December 22, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists have identified conserved, long intervening non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) that play key roles during brain development in zebrafish, and went on to show that the human versions of these RNAs can substitute for the zebrafish lincRNAs.

Microscope images of mouse blood samples

Long non-coding RNA prevents the death of maturing red blood cells

December 7, 2011

A long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) prevents programmed cell death during one of the final stages of red blood cell differentiation, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. This is the first time a lncRNA has been found to play a role in red blood cell development and the first time a lncRNA has been shown to affect programmed cell death.

MicroRNAs jumpstart production of obesity-fighting brown fat

July 10, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists have identified the first microRNAs (miRs) that regulate the development of brown fat. Brown fat, which is found in small deposits in the neck, along the shoulders, and down the spine in adult humans, generates heat by burning the lipids. These miRs provide an opportunity to understand better how brown fat develops and may lead to methods for stimulating brown fat production to counter obesity.

Tiny RNA shown to cause multiple types of leukemia

November 29, 2010

Whitehead Institute researchers have shown in mouse models that overexpression of the microRNA 125b (miR-125b) can independently cause leukemia and accelerate the disease’s progression in mice.

Graphic of gene expression machinery and the protein complexes Mediator and Cohesin forming a DNA loop

Surprise in genome structure linked to developmental diseases

August 18, 2010

The genes that are responsible for maintaining each cell type form DNA loops that link control elements for these genes. This surprising genome structure is generated and reinforced by two essential protein complexes that bridge the loops and contribute to proper gene regulation.

RNA snippets control protein production by disabling mRNAs

August 16, 2010

Short pieces of RNA, called microRNAs, control protein production by causing the proteins’ RNA templates (known as messenger RNA or mRNA) to be disabled by the cell, according to Whitehead Institute scientists.

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