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STATES CHRONICLE – Cuttlefish, squids, and octopi can modify the genetic instructions, altering their RNA. They can use some enzymes to retrieve particular adenosine RNA bases. These species extract some the As out of the Us, Gs, Ts and As of RNA which represent some proteins that are eventually replaced with another base known as Inosine. This is known as RNA editing which is rarely used to recode proteins in animals.
Squids and octopi can alter their RNA
Nevertheless, squids and octopi modify RNA base pairs in more than a half of the genes which were transcribed. Scientists have developed a new study to characterize and quantify the extent of RNA altering in all cephalopod species. They determined that the genetic strategy used by squids and octopi has impaired the evolution of the cephalopod genome.
The new study was published in Cell Journal on April 6th. Scientists have uncovered that octopi modify their RNA to adapt to changes regarding temperature. They have discovered that most of the RNA transcripts in squid neurons bare these alterations. When developing the new research, scientists hoped to unveil the regularity of these edits and how they emerged in the cephalopod lineage.
In this way they modified the cephalopod lineage
Researchers were also eager to find out how this editing capability affects the cephalopod genome’s evolution. Humans bare 20,000 genes where only a dozen of them are conserved RNA altering sites which may encode functional proteins. However, squids also have 20,000 genes, but they have for sure more than 11,000 RNA altering sites which affect the proteome. Eli Eisenberg, the co-author of the study and a biophysicist at Tel Aviv University in Israel, stated that the mechanism used by cephalopods intends to produce proteins which are not included in their DNA.
For cephalopods, RNA altering is a rule, and all the proteins are edited. Specialists explain that RNA modifying is exceedingly rare that it is not seen as being part of the ”Central Dogma” of genetics. Josen Rosenthal, a cephalopod neurobiologist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, claimed that since it was discovered that genetic data is stored in DNA, scientists believed that all the data is stored in the DNA and it is copied to the RNA when it is used.
From there, the data is translated to the proteins which usually do all the work. This is known to be a faithful process.
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