Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics

How To Build A Protoribosome

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
April 1, 2023
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How To Build A Protoribosome
Secondary structure of the tt_A1P1 construct predicted by mfold (Zuker, 2003). With a ΔG of -64.30 Kcal/mol. Thermus thermophilus numbering system is used. According to this prediction base paring shift occur in H74, H89 and H90. The overall shape of H90 has grown by at least three base pairs at the beginning of the helix compared to the secondary structure of the extant ribosome. — PNAS

NASA-supported scientists have reexamined some previous assumptions about how the ribosome in living cells is constructed. The ribosome is a large molecule found in all living cells that catalyzes the synthesis of proteins.

Ribosomes today are different across the numerous organisms in the biosphere, yet they all share common core structures. Because of this, it is likely that all ribosomes evolved from an original molecule that was present in life’s last common ancestor on Earth (LUCA), and that the earliest origins of the ribosome predate LUCA.

The study focuses on the interactions between pieces of RNA and how these RNA molecules could have combined to form a particular region within the ancient core structure of the ribosome.

The paper, How to build a protoribosome: structural insights from the first protoribosome constructs that have proven to be catalytically active,” was published in the journal RNA.


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