I. Split Genes and RNA Splicing
II. Spliceosome Structure and Dynamics
Part I: Split Genes and RNA Splicing
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In the first part of her talk, Dr. Moore explains that eukaryotic pre-mRNA contains long stretches of non-protein coding sequences interspersed with protein coding regions. By recognizing specific sequences, cellular machinery splices out the non-coding introns leaving just the protein-coding exons in mRNA. Although at first glance this may seem like a wasteful process, it is splicing that facilitates the evolution of new genes, and alternative splicing that allows a limited number of genes to produce a large number of proteins.
Moore goes on to describe the cellular splicing machine, the spliceosome, in greater detail in Part 2. She lists the components of the spliceosome and where each works in the spliceosome cycle. Moore also explains how the innovative use of fluorescent protein tags and total internal reflection microscopy has allowed her and her colleagues to better understand the ordered assembly and function of the complex splicing machine.
Melissa Moore received her PhD in biological chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She became interested in understanding RNA splicing during a post-doc with Phillip Sharp, also at MIT. Since then, Moore has spent much of her career working on the spliceosome and other mysteries of RNA processing. Currently, Moore is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
- Tom Cech iBioEducation Discovery Talk: Discovering Ribozymes
- Vivian Cheung iBioSeminar: Mechanisms that underlie RNA editing and RNA-DNA differences
- Joan Steitz iBioMagazine: The Discovery of SNURPs
- Anna Marie Pyle iBioSeminar: RNA Structure, Function and Recognition
- Melissa Moore Short Clip: Exons and Introns
- Roy Parker iBioSeminar: mRNA Localization, Translation and Degradation
- Phillip A. Sharp's iBioMagazine: RNA Splicing: What is a Gene?
- Robert Tjian iBioSeminar: The Molecular Biology of Gene Regulation
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