3.8.20, Detective work in the cell: A new RNA-modifying enzyme uncovered by the Martinez lab

Scientists led by Javier Martinez from the Max Perutz Labs, a joint venture of the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna, have identified a unique chemical reaction at the end of RNA molecules for the first time in human cells. Their findings are now published in “Science”.

This reaction was previously only observed in bacteria and viruses. Tracing its source among thousands of proteins, they discovered that an unexpected culprit, an enzyme called ANGEL2, executes this reaction. ANGEL2 may play a key role in regulating the response to cellular stress, and possibly in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases.

See the Max Perutz Labs news for the full story.

Congratulations to the whole Martinez Lab, in particular to DK RNA Biology alumna Paola H. Pinto, first author of this publication!

Paola H. Pinto, Alena Kroupova, Alexander Schleiffer, Karl Mechtler, Martin Jinek, Stefan Weitzer & Javier Martinez:
ANGEL2 is a member of the CCR4 family of deadenylases with2’,3’-cyclic phosphatase activity.
Science (2020). DOI: 10.1126/science.aba9763