The journal Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology published new research on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from University of Illinois Cancer Center member Jun Sun, PhD, the study’s corresponding author and part of the Cancer Biology research program at the Cancer Center.
Because transfer RNA (tRNA) is the most extensively modified RNA in cells, Sun and fellow researchers addressed fundamental questions in IBD: Is Q-tRNA modification involved in human IBD, and how does dysfunction of Q-tRNA modification contribute to chronic inflammation? They examined queuosine modification, a fundamental process for ensuring the translation from RNA to protein, in patients with IBD by investigating human biopsies and reanalyzing datasets. They further studied the mechanism in the experimental IBD models.
“tRNA modifications play an unexplored novel role in the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation by altering epithelial proliferation and junction formation. Further investigation of the role of tRNA modifications will uncover novel molecular mechanisms for the prevention and treatment of IBD,” the study concludes.
Other study authors were affiliated with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute in Ireland.