Ribonucleases and their Applications
Keywords:, Microbial ribonucleases, antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor/ anticancer, apoptosis.
AbstractRibonuclease (RNase) is a type of nuclease that catalyzes degradation of RNA into smaller components. RNase can be classified into two broader categories namely endoribonucleases and exoribonucleases on the basis of their site of action. RNases play key roles in the maturation of all RNA molecules; endoribonucleases cleave the RNA molecules from the interior at 5â€² end while exoribonucleases degrade RNA molecules in a 3â€²â€“5â€² direction. With the advent of new frontiers in biotechnology, the applications of ribonucleases besides molecular biology have expended into many other fields like medicinal, clinical, and analytical chemistry. RNase A that belongs to pancreatic ribonucleases super family plays an important key role in structural, biochemical and evolutionary studies. Discovery of eukaryotic orthologues of the bacterial double stranded (ds) RNA-specific ribonuclease III (RNase III) suggests a central role for these enzymes in the regulation of ds-RNA and eukaryotic RNA metabolism. The more recent studies have shown that the mammalian and some fungal RNases are also bestowed with antiproliferative, antiangiogenic and/ or antitumor/ anticancer activities. Some of the members of RNase A superfamily such as RNase 6 and RNase 7 appears to be evolutionary conserved peptides with potent antimicrobial activities for upkeep of sterility in the urinary tract.