Structure of the human DICER–pre-miRNA complex in a dicing state
© CHRISTOPH BURGSTEDT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
How an enzyme, appropriately named DICER, cuts double-stranded RNA to produce short sections of RNA that regulate genes has been revealed.
Small snippets of RNAs can turn off genes, stopping them from producing proteins — an important mechanism in both health and disease.
These small regulatory RNAs are produced by DICER slicing up double strands of RNA. But how this process occurs in humans has been difficult to determine because the structure of DICER in its catalytic state had not been determined.
Now, a team led by researchers from the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea has used cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structure of DICER bound to microRNA.
The insights gained by this structural analysis will help researchers design RNAs for turning off genes as well as provide a better understanding of DICER-related diseases, the team says.
- Nature 615, 331–338 (2023). doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-05723-3
|Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea||0.70|
|Institute for Basic Science (IBS), South Korea||0.30|