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Essential RNA Sequence Elimination Could Induce Early Aging

In reference to the previous findings, scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern have recognized an innovative genetic pathway through which premature aging can be prevented.

The research findings appeared in the journal eLife, in which the actual role of the gene NORAD was recognized. NORAD (Noncoding RNA Activated by DNA Damage) is a long non-coding RNA, or ribonucleic acid, present in a lot of mammals and manages to sustain the apt number of chromosomes during the continuous cell division cycles.

Most of the RNA strands generated after the transcription process in the cell provide codes or instructions to the ribosome for protein generation, while the non-coding RNAs are not considered to be useful in protein formation. A lot of questions are being raised in the scientific community concerning the significance of non-coding RNAs in physiology and development of mammals. Dr. Joshua T. Mendell—senior author of the study and molecular biology professor at UT Southwestern—said that mammalian cells generate thousands of non-coding RNAs, but only a few of them have been associated with some essential role.

In the previous researches based on NORAD, the scientists reported its discovery in the Year 2015 and confirmed its importance in retaining the appropriate number and sets of chromosomes in human cells. Earlier, the researchers identified its role through in-vitro tests. But later, the researchers tried to examine the function of non-coding RNA in the animal body to study the effect of the gene on mammalian physiology. For which, they created genetically modified mice, in which the NORAD gene was removed from the genome.

The researchers were astonished to see after effect of NORAD removal in mice, they observed that even the cells’ mitochondrial functionality get altered and the mice appeared to age at a faster rate.

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