[GRG] Long Non-coding RNAs Can Encode Proteins

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release/newsrelease.cfm?news_id=216

Long Non-coding RNAs Can Encode Proteins After All

Case Western Reserve Investigators Discover Novel Cellular Genes by
Uncovering Uncharacterized RNAs that Encode Proteins

News Release: June 23, 2014

Jeannette Spalding
216-368-3004
jeannette.spalding@case.edu

Case Western Reserve School of Medicine scientists have made an
extraordinary double discovery. First, they have identified
thousands of novel long non-coding ribonucleic acid (lncRNA)
transcripts. Second, they have learned that some of them defy
conventional wisdom regarding lncRNA transcripts, because they
actually do direct the synthesis of proteins in cells.

Both of the breakthroughs are detailed in the June 12 issue of
Cell Reports.

Kristian E. Baker, PhD, assistant professor in the Center for RNA
Molecular Biology, led the team that applied high throughput gene
expression analysis to yield these impressive findings, which
ultimately could lead to treatments for cancer and some genetic
disorders.

“Our work establishes that lncRNAs in yeast can encode proteins,
and we provide evidence that this is probably true also in mammals,
including humans,” Baker said. “Our investigation has expanded our
knowledge of the genetic coding potential of already well-
characterized genomes.”

Collaborating with researchers including Case Western Reserve
University graduate and undergraduate students, Baker analyzed
yeast and mouse cells, which serve as model organisms because of
their functional resemblance to human cells.

Previously, lncRNAs were thought to lack the information and
capacity to encode for proteins, distinguishing them from the
messenger RNAs that are expressed from known genes and act
primarily as templates for the synthesis of proteins. Yet this team
demonstrated that a subset of these lncRNAs is engaged by the
translation machinery and can function to produce protein products.

In the future, Baker and fellow investigators will continue to
look for novel RNA transcripts and also search for a function for
these lncRNAs and their protein products in cells.

“Discovery of more transcripts equates to the discovery of new and
novel genes,” Baker said. “The significance of this work is that we
have discovered evidence for the expression of previously
undiscovered genes. Knowing that genes are expressed is the very
first step in figuring out what they do in normal cellular function
or in dysfunction and disease.”

This investigation was funded by the National Institutes of
Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (GM080465
and GM095621) and the National Science Foundation (NSF1253788).

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About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. http://www.AgingIntervention.org Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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