mRNA life span

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Tiamaria
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mRNA life span

Post by Tiamaria » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:17 am

Hello biologists.
I am stuck on a question and I'm in need of some assistance. I've tried to figure it out, but I need some guidance.

Here is the question:
It makes sense that DNA, the stable genetic material of most organisms, should be sequestered in a specific area of the cell to protect it and prevent it from potential damage. On the other hand, the mRNA, the working copy of the genetic code, is relatively short-lived or unstable.Why is the latter advantageous to the cell?

I know that structural stability is not a serious challenge for RNA. I know that the transcripted information carried by mRNA must be secure for only a few hours, as it is transported to a ribosome. I know that once in the ribosome it is surrounded by structural and enzymatic segments that immediately incorporate its codons for protein synthesis. I also know that the tRNA molecules that carry amino acids to the ribosome are also short lived, and are continuously recycled by the cellular chemistry.

But I dont know what my question is really asking, and my professor is unwilling to re-phase the question. Is it asking what is the benefit of having a short lived mRNA?

Any assistance would be great. Thank you xoxo

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JackBean
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Post by JackBean » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:35 am

look for translation regulation in means of how fast it is in relation to available mRNA transcripts. And whether is it regulated faster with long- or short-lived mRNAs
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.

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jonmoulton
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Post by jonmoulton » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:53 pm

What happens to the cell if it must turn off expression of a protein, but the mRNA is extremely stable? Will there be a selective advantage for a cell that can rapidly reallocate resources where they are needed, shutting off translation of proteins that have been rendered worthless by changing environmental conditions?

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