Molecule of the Month
|A Misbehaved tRNA-Derived Fragment|
Transfer RNAs are known to deliver amino acids to the ribosome during the process of protein biosynthesis. Here we identify a tRNA-derived fragment that is produced under certain stress conditions that behaves in a radically different manner. Like its "mother molecule", the tRNA, the tRNA fragment binds to the ribosome, but instead of participating in protein biosynthesis, it inhibits translation globally by competing with messenger RNA.
This work was carried out by Jennifer Gebetsberger & Leander Wyss and colleagues in the group of Prof. Norbert Polacek.