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Caught in the act: 3-D structure of an RNA-modifying protein determined in action

The structure of a bacterial RNA-binding protein has been determined in the act of modifying a molecule of RNA — an achievement that provides researchers with a unique view of the protein’s function in action and could lead to clues that would help in the fight against the development of antibiotic-resistant infections. A paper describing the findings by a team of Penn State University researchers is published in the current issue of the journal em>Science.

Caught in the Act
The structure of a bacterial RNA-binding protein has been determined in the act of modifying a molecule of RNA — an achievement that provides researchers with a unique view of the protein’s function in action and could lead to clues that would help in the fight against the development of antibiotic-resistant infections. A paper describing the findings by a team of Penn State University researchers is published in the journal Science. This image is a ribbon diagram showing the structure of the RNA-modifying protein RlmN. The RlmN (blue ribbon) is trapped in the middle of its reaction while it is bound to transfer RNA (shown in grey, stick format). Iron and sulfur atoms are shown as orange and yellow spheres. Selected amino acids, cofactors, and nucleobases are shown in stick format and are colored by atom type.
Credit: Penn State University