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06.20.12 News
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Scientists Discover How Key Enzyme Involved In Aging, Cancer Assembles

UCLA biochemists have mapped the structure of a key protein–RNA complex that is required for the assembly of telomerase, an enzyme important in both cancer and aging. The researchers found that a region at the end of the p65 protein that includes a flexible tail is responsible for bending telomerase's RNA backbone in order to create a scaffold for the assembly of other protein building blocks. Understanding this protein, which is found in a type of single-celled organism that lives in fresh water ponds, may help researchers predict the function of similar proteins in humans and other organisms.
Image credit: Mahavir Singh, Juli Feigon/UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry