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Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday's Molecule #159

This is a very important molecule for many reasons. Versions of it are found in all living species. Its function is essential in most (all?) species.

Pieces of this molecule are found in many viruses. The molecule also plays a prominent role in the debate about junk DNA.

Identify the molecule—the common name will do. You don't have to specify the species but anyone who does will get an honorable mention if the winner doesn't. Post your answer in the comments. I'll hold off releasing any comments for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answer wins. I will only post correct answers to avoid embarrassment.

There could be two winners. If the first correct answer isn't from an undergraduate student then I'll select a second winner from those undergraduates who post the correct answer. You will need to identify yourself as an undergraduate in order to win. (Put "undergraduate" at the bottom of your comment.)

Some past winners are from distant lands so their chances of taking up my offer of a free lunch are slim. (That's why I can afford to do this!)

In order to win you must post your correct name. Anonymous and pseudoanonymous commenters can't win the free lunch. I'm about to leave for Los Angeles for a couple of weeks but I promise to organize lunch dates as soon as I get back at the end of February.

Winners will have to contact me by email to arrange a lunch date.

UPDATE: It's 7SL RNA from humans. The winner is Joseph C. Somody.

Nov. 2009: Jason Oakley, Alex Ling
Oct. 17: Bill Chaney, Roger Fan
Oct. 24: DK
Oct. 31: Joseph C. Somody
Nov. 7: Jason Oakley
Nov. 15: Thomas Ferraro, Vipulan Vigneswaran
Nov. 21: Vipulan Vigneswaran (honorary mention to Raul A. Félix de Sousa)
Nov. 28: Philip Rodger
Dec. 5: 凌嘉誠 (Alex Ling)
Dec. 12: Bill Chaney
Dec. 19: Joseph C. Somody
Jan. 9: Dima Klenchin
Jan. 23: David Schuller
Jan. 30: Peter Monaghan
Feb. 7: Thomas Ferraro, Charles Motraghi



    The signal recognition particle RNA, also known as 7SL, 6S, ffs, or 4.5S RNA, is the RNA component of the signal recognition particle (SRP) ribonucleoprotein complex.

    As for the species, I'd have to say mouse, but I may be wrong.

    (I am an undergraduate.)

  2. It is the 7S RNA from signal recognition particle.

    Species: Homo sapiens.

  3. Looks like the 7SL RNA, the RNA component of the signal recognition particle.

    Is the species H. sapiens?


  4. The molecule is the RNA component of SRP (Signal Recognition Particle) used in the secretory general pathway in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It seems to be the human version of SRP.

    The relationship between SRP and junk DNA is that the common SINEs known as Alu seem to be derived from SRP.


  5. 7SL RNA, and I think it's Rhesus macaque from my short BLAST search.

  6. That's RNA 7S of SRP. It looks like human SRP-RNA, buy I hardly seen the bases.

  7. It is essential in most species. Famously, budding yeast strains with a deletion in this gene are viable (but barely).