The Dept. of Biochemistry & Biophysics – where SEC means Size Exclusion Chromatography.
Meclizine, an over-the-counter drug used for decades to treat nausea and motion sickness, has the potential for new uses to treat certain infectious diseases and some forms of cancer, according to Dr. Vishal M. Gohil, an assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M University.
“Clearly this drug has many potential new applications,” Gohil said. “And now that we know its new target within the cell, we can start to explore ways of using it to treat other diseases. We can ‘repurpose’ this drug.”
New mechanisms of miRNA processing in plants: BioBio lab on the cover of Nature Structural and Molecular BiologyCraig Kaplan : September 13, 2013 1:13 pm : BioBio News
Bio/Bio Assistant Professor Xiuren Zhang and colleagues here in Biochemistry and Biophysics and the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology at Texas A&M, as well as those from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Agricultural University, and Penn State report their very nice work on the discovery of bidirectional processing of miRNAs in plants in the September 2013 issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology . miRNAs are small RNAs that regulate gene expression by a number of mechanisms and are processed from precursor RNAs called primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs). pri-miRNAs can have complex secondary structures and Xiuren’s team revealed that pri-miRNAs of particular structure in both Arabidopsis and rice can be processed from both directions in a key stem loop structure. Processing from one direction leads to abortive processing and degradation, while processing from the other leads to formation of mature miRNA species. It was great to see their work featured on the cover. Congrats to Zhu et al!
Craig Kaplan’s group, working with Nevan Krogan and Christine Guthrie at UCSF, with contributions from labs at Utrecht Medical Center and the University of British Columbia, have described a high-throughput study of genetic interactions in yeast between a collection of mutations in RNA polymerase II and a subset of the yeast knockout mutation collection. By examining the patterns of nonadditive increased and decreased fitness for polymerase mutations in combinations with mutations that affect other biological processes, the Kaplan, Krogan and Guthrie groups were able to make new functional connections between protein domains in the RNA polymerase complex and other protein complexes. Phenotypic profiles also revealed a correlation between elongation rates for synthesis of the pre-mRNA and efficiency of splicing and transcriptional start site selection.