Bioengineers at UC San Diego have shown that human-genome produced RNA is present on the surface of human cells, suggesting a more expanded role for RNA in cell-to-cell and cell-to-environment interactions than previously thought. This new type of membrane-associated extracellular RNA (maxRNA) is found in human cells that are not undergoing cell death, shedding light on the contribution of nucleic acids—particularly RNA—to cell surface functions.
The maxRNAs and the molecular technologies developed to inspect the cell surface to detect them, are detailed in a paper in Genome Biology published Sept. 10.
“The cell’s surface is to a cell like the face is to a person,” said Sheng Zhong, bioengineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and corresponding author of the study. “It is the most important part for recognizing what type of cell it is, for example a good actor – like a T cell — or a bad actor— like a tumor cell—and it aids in communication and interactions… Continue reading.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the induction of Sheng Zhong, Ph.D., Professor of Bioengineering, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Zhong was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for developments of bioinformatic methods and molecular biotechnologies in revealing molecular interaction networks and understanding personal variations.