RNA can be written into DNA

Imagine my shock.

Pause. Wait. Imagine it.

Imagine my shock.

“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA.

The work was published June 11th, 2021, in the journal Science Advances.

Except we knew this for ages and I’d posted about it before, this just proves it further.

Well duh, messengers don’t just go ONE way?

It’s all part of your epigenome, I explained this before.

Together with first author Gurushankar Chandramouly and other collaborators, Dr. Pomerantz’s team started by investigating one very unusual polymerase, called polymerase theta. Of the 14 DNA polymerases in mammalian cells, only three do the bulk of the work of duplicating the entire genome to prepare for cell division. The remaining 11 are mostly involved in detecting and making repairs when there’s a break or error in the DNA strands. Polymerase theta repairs DNA, but is very error-prone and makes many errors or mutations. The researchers therefore noticed that some of polymerase theta’s “bad” qualities were ones it shared with another cellular machine, albeit one more common in viruses — the reverse transcriptase. Like Pol theta, HIV reverse transcriptase acts as a DNA polymerase, but can also bind RNA and read RNA back into a DNA strand.

DNA polymerase, there’s a term to tuck in your belt.

“Our research suggests that polymerase theta’s main function is to act as a reverse transcriptase,” says Dr. Pomerantz. “In healthy cells, the purpose of this molecule may be toward RNA-mediated DNA repair. In unhealthy cells, such as cancer cells, polymerase theta is highly expressed and promotes cancer cell growth and drug resistance. It will be exciting to further understand how polymerase theta’s activity on RNA contributes to DNA repair and cancer-cell proliferation.”

RNA-mediated DNA repair. Quite an arse covering.

If it can repair, it can damage.

When highly expressed, the process promotes cancer growth? Really? Fascinating. I’ll await the RNA trial results from the control group of organic humans with interest. Extreme interest.

The drug resistance is interesting, that wouldn’t include anti-virals, would it?
To people with tainted RNA, would transcriptase be a kill shot?

Here’s hoping my idiotic relatives don’t shed on me into mutantdom. If they do, I’ll tell you.

1. Be civil. 2. Be logical or fair. 3. Do not bore me.

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