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Damaged mRNA associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s

Damage to DNA is an issue for all cells, particularly in cancer, where the mechanisms that typically fail. The same agents that also damage its sister molecule messenger (), which ferries transcripts of the genes to the tens of thousands of ribosomes in each cell. But little attention has been paid to this damage.

[oxidative damage to a single base on a messenger RNA
The Zaher lab has found that that oxidative damage to a single base (bold X) on a (the jagged ribbon) can jam the cellular nanomachine (green) that translates the mRNA into protein (ribbon into beads).
Credit:Hani Zaher


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By Diana Lutz

Washington University in St. Louis