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RNA Stability: The extent to which an RNA molecule retains its structural integrity and resists degradation by Rnase, and base-catalyzed Hydrolysis, under changing in vivo or in vitro conditions.

RNA Stability

JoVE 11009

Intact DNA strands can be found in fossils, while scientists sometimes struggle to keep RNA intact under laboratory conditions. The structural variations between RNA and DNA underlie the differences in their stability and longevity. Because DNA is double-stranded, it is inherently more stable. The single-stranded structure of RNA is less stable but also more flexible and can form weak internal bonds. Additionally, most RNAs in the cell are relatively short, while DNA can be up to 250 million nucleotides long. RNA has a hydroxyl group on the second carbon of the ribose sugar, increasing the likelihood of breakage of the sugar-phosphate backbone. The cell can exploit the instability of RNA, regulating both its longevity and availability. More stable mRNAs will be available for translation for a longer period of time than less stable mRNAs transcripts. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) in cells play a key role in the regulation of RNA stability. RBPs can bind to a specific sequence (AUUUA) in the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) of mRNAs. Interestingly, the number of AUUUA repeats appears to recruit RBPs in a specific way: fewer repeats recruit stabilizing RBPs. Several, overlapping repeats result in the binding of destabilizing RBPs. All cells have enzymes called RNases that break down RNAs. Typically, the 5’cap and polyA tail protect eukaryotic mRNA from degradation

 Core: Gene Expression

A Stainless Protocol for High Quality RNA Isolation from Laser Capture Microdissected Purkinje Cells in the Human Post-Mortem Cerebellum

1Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, 2Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Yale University, 3Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, 4Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University

JoVE 58953

 Neuroscience

Working with Human Tissues for Translational Cancer Research

1Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2Department of Genomic Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 3Department of Pathology and Institutional Tissue Bank, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

JoVE 53189

 Medicine
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