Synchrotron and Neutron Users' Group  




Nobel Prize Work on Gene Transcription

Life as we know it depends on turning on and off the proper genes at the correct time. Gene transcription is how our DNA gets translated into proteins, and ultimately into biological organisms.  This work done by the 2006 Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate Roger Kornberg at the SSRL and ALS synchrotrons shows the structural basis of this.  This work can potentially lead to insights into cancer treatment, gene therapy, and other important disease treatments.

This process of gene expression starts when an RNA message is copied from DNA. But the exact mechanism by which RNA does this has not been well understood. The study revealed that a structural element of the RNA enzyme called the trigger loop is involved.



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