Tobacco acid pyrophosphatase

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Tobacco Acid Pyrophosphatase (TAP) is an enzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of a phosphoric ester bond in a broad spectrum of molecules, [1] including the 5'-end of mRNA.

Enzyme Large biological molecule that acts as a catalyst

Enzymes are macromolecular biological catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates into different molecules known as products. Almost all metabolic processes in the cell need enzyme catalysis in order to occur at rates fast enough to sustain life. Metabolic pathways depend upon enzymes to catalyze individual steps. The study of enzymes is called enzymology and a new field of pseudoenzyme analysis has recently grown up, recognising that during evolution, some enzymes have lost the ability to carry out biological catalysis, which is often reflected in their amino acid sequences and unusual 'pseudocatalytic' properties.

During mRNA maturation the 5' triphosphate of the new mRNA molecule is rapidly removed. The diphosphate 5' end then attacks the α-phosphorus atom of a methylated GTP to form a very unusual 5'-5' triphosphate linkage, called cap. [2] In molecular biology, TAP is used to hydrolyse a phosphodiester bond of this particular structure and release a mRNA molecule with only one phosphate group in the 5'-end, [3] for instance in protocols for RACE (Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends).

Guanosine triphosphate chemical compound

Guanosine-5'-triphosphate (GTP) is a purine nucleoside triphosphate. It is one of the building blocks needed for the synthesis of RNA during the transcription process. Its structure is similar to that of the guanine nucleobase, the only difference being that nucleotides like GTP have a ribose sugar and three phosphates, with the nucleobase attached to the 1' and the triphosphate moiety attached to the 5' carbons of the ribose.

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Adenosine triphosphate chemical compound

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. When consumed in metabolic processes, it converts either to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) or to adenosine monophosphate (AMP). Other processes regenerate ATP so that the human body recycles its own body weight equivalent in ATP each day. It is also a precursor to DNA and RNA, and is used as a coenzyme.

Nucleic acid polymeric macromolecules

Nucleic acids are the biopolymers, or small biomolecules, essential to all known forms of life. The term nucleic acid is the overall name for DNA and RNA. They are composed of nucleotides, which are the monomers made of three components: a 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base. If the sugar is a compound ribose, the polymer is RNA ; if the sugar is derived from ribose as deoxyribose, the polymer is DNA.

Nucleotide biological molecules that form the building blocks of nucleic acids

Nucleotides are molecules consisting of a nucleoside and a phosphate group. They are the basic building blocks of DNA and RNA.

RNA family of large biological molecules

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, and, along with lipids, proteins and carbohydrates, constitute the four major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life. Like DNA, RNA is assembled as a chain of nucleotides, but unlike DNA it is more often found in nature as a single-strand folded onto itself, rather than a paired double-strand. Cellular organisms use messenger RNA (mRNA) to convey genetic information that directs synthesis of specific proteins. Many viruses encode their genetic information using an RNA genome.

Adenine Chemical compound of DNA and RNA

Adenine is a nucleobase. It is one of the four nucleobases in the nucleic acid of DNA that are represented by the letters G–C–A–T. The three others are guanine, cytosine and thymine. Its derivatives have a variety of roles in biochemistry including cellular respiration, in the form of both the energy-rich adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the cofactors nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). It also has functions in protein synthesis and as a chemical component of DNA and RNA. The shape of adenine is complementary to either thymine in DNA or uracil in RNA.

Uracil Chemical compound of RNA

Uracil is one of the four nucleobases in the nucleic acid of RNA that are represented by the letters A, G, C and U. The others are adenine (A), cytosine (C), and guanine (G). In RNA, uracil binds to adenine via two hydrogen bonds. In DNA, the uracil nucleobase is replaced by thymine. Uracil is a demethylated form of thymine.

Pyrophosphate salt or ester of diphosphoric acid

In chemistry, pyrophosphates are phosphorus oxyanions that contain two phosphorus atoms in a P-O-P linkage. A number of pyrophosphate salts exist, such as Na2H2P2O7. Often pyrophosphates are called diphosphates. The parent pyrophosphates are derived from partial or complete neutralization of pyrophosphoric acid. Important salts include disodium pyrophosphate and tetrasodium pyrophosphate. The pyrophosphate bond, as found in ATP, is very important in biochemistry.

Biomolecule Molecule that is produced by a living organism

A biomolecule or biological molecule is a loosely used term for molecules and ions present in organisms that are essential to one or more typically biological processes, such as cell division, morphogenesis, or development. Biomolecules include large macromolecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids, as well as small molecules such as primary metabolites, secondary metabolites, and natural products. A more general name for this class of material is biological materials. Biomolecules are usually endogenous, produced within the organism but organisms usually need exogenous biomolecules, for example certain nutrients, to survive.

Transfer RNA adaptor molecule composed of RNA, typically 76–90 nucleotides, that carries amino acids to the ribosome as directed by codons in mRNA

A transfer RNA is an adaptor molecule composed of RNA, typically 76 to 90 nucleotides in length, that serves as the physical link between the mRNA and the amino acid sequence of proteins. tRNA does this by carrying an amino acid to the protein synthetic machinery of a cell (ribosome) as directed by a 3-nucleotide sequence (codon) in a messenger RNA (mRNA). As such, tRNAs are a necessary component of translation, the biological synthesis of new proteins in accordance with the genetic code.

In molecular biology, the five-prime cap is a specially altered nucleotide on the 5′ end of some primary transcripts such as precursor messenger RNA. This process, known as mRNA capping, is highly regulated and vital in the creation of stable and mature messenger RNA able to undergo translation during protein synthesis. Mitochondrial mRNA and chloroplastic mRNA are not capped.

Biosynthesis is a multi-step, enzyme-catalyzed process where substrates are converted into more complex products in living organisms. In biosynthesis, simple compounds are modified, converted into other compounds, or joined together to form macromolecules. This process often consists of metabolic pathways. Some of these biosynthetic pathways are located within a single cellular organelle, while others involve enzymes that are located within multiple cellular organelles. Examples of these biosynthetic pathways include the production of lipid membrane components and nucleotides. Biosynthesis is usually synonymous with anabolism.

There are various kinds of phosphoric acids and phosphates. Of the many phosphorus oxoacids, the phosphoric acids constitute the largest and most diverse group. The simplest phosphoric acid series begins with monophosphoric (orthophosphoric) acid, continues with many oligophosphoric acids such as diphosphoric (pyrophosphoric) acid and concludes in the polyphosphoric acids. But, phosphoric acid units can bind together into rings or cyclic structures, chains (catenas), or branched structures, with various combinations possible. Each of these can form phosphates.

Post-transcriptional modification or co-transcriptional modification is a set of biological processes common to most eukaryotic cells by which an RNA primary transcript is chemically altered following transcription from a gene to produce a mature, functional RNA molecule that can then leave the nucleus and perform any of a variety of different functions in the cell. There are many types of post-transcriptional modifications achieved through a diverse class of molecular mechanisms.

Biomolecular structure 3D conformation of a biological sequence, like DNA, RNA, proteins

Biomolecular structure is the intricate folded, three-dimensional shape that is formed by a molecule of protein, DNA, or RNA, and that is important to its function. The structure of these molecules may be considered at any of several length scales ranging from the level of individual atoms to the relationships among entire protein subunits. This useful distinction among scales is often expressed as a decomposition of molecular structure into four levels: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. The scaffold for this multiscale organization of the molecule arises at the secondary level, where the fundamental structural elements are the molecule's various hydrogen bonds. This leads to several recognizable domains of protein structure and nucleic acid structure, including such secondary-structure features as alpha helixes and beta sheets for proteins, and hairpin loops, bulges, and internal loops for nucleic acids. The terms primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure were introduced by Kaj Ulrik Linderstrøm-Lang in his 1951 Lane Medical Lectures at Stanford University.

Inorganic pyrophosphatase group of proteins having inorganic pyrophosphatase activity

Inorganic pyrophosphatase is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of one ion of pyrophosphate to two phosphate ions. This is a highly exergonic reaction, and therefore can be coupled to unfavorable biochemical transformations in order to drive these transformations to completion. The functionality of this enzyme plays a critical role in lipid metabolism, calcium absorption and bone formation, and DNA synthesis, as well as other biochemical transformations.

Messenger RNA decapping

The process of messenger RNA decapping consists of hydrolysis of the 5' cap structure on the RNA exposing a 5' monophosphate. In eukaryotes, this 5' monophosphate is a substrate for the 5' exonuclease Xrn1 and the mRNA is quickly destroyed. There are many situations which may lead to the removal of the cap, some of which are discussed below.

Nucleic acid structure organization of DNA and RNA molecules at different scales

Nucleic acid structure refers to the structure of nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA. Chemically speaking, DNA and RNA are very similar. Nucleic acid structure is often divided into four different levels: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary.

Nucleic acid secondary structure basepairing interactions within a single nucleic acid polymer or between two polymers, list of bases which are paired in a nucleic acid molecule

Nucleic acid secondary structure is the basepairing interactions within a single nucleic acid polymer or between two polymers. It can be represented as a list of bases which are paired in a nucleic acid molecule. The secondary structures of biological DNA's and RNA's tend to be different: biological DNA mostly exists as fully base paired double helices, while biological RNA is single stranded and often forms complex and intricate base-pairing interactions due to its increased ability to form hydrogen bonds stemming from the extra hydroxyl group in the ribose sugar.

Numerous key discoveries in biology have emerged from studies of RNA, including seminal work in the fields of biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, molecular evolution and structural biology. As of 2010, 30 scientists have been awarded Nobel Prizes for experimental work that includes studies of RNA. Specific discoveries of high biological significance are discussed in this article.


  1. Shinshi H, Miwa M, Kato K, Noguchi M, Matsushima T, Sugimura T (1976). "A novel phosphodiesterase from cultured tobacco cells". Biochemistry. 15 (10): 2185–90. doi:10.1021/bi00655a024. PMID   6041.
  2. JEREMY M. BERG; JOHN L. TYMOCZKOL; LUBERT STRYER (2002). Biochemistry (28.3.1 ed.). Online version
  3. Lockard, RE; Rieser, L; Vournakis JN. (1981). "Labeling of eukaryotic messenger RNA 5' terminus with phosphorus -32: use of tobacco acid pyrophosphatase for removal of cap structures". Gene Amplif Anal. 2: 229–51. PMID   6152889.