Field of Science

Final revisions of the sxy manuscript

The sxy manuscript we submitted in late February came back a month or so later with four (!) thorough and quite favourable reviews. (The exclamation point is because most papers get two reviews.) We're now doing the revisions, and hope to resubmit later this week.

It's taken us two months to get to this point because two of the reviewers asked that we improve the evidence for the role of secondary structure as a regulator of sxy mRNA translation by doing an analysis called "toeprinting". The name is by analogy with "footprinting", where a DNA-binding (or RNA-binding) protein protects a specific segment of DNA (or RNA) from cleavage by a nuclease. In toeprinting, an RNA-binding protein or other obstacle is detected as a position where a polymerase stalls while copying the mRNA.

The PhD student working on sxy regulation decided that a different technique would be more appropriate, so he's directly measured the translatability of wildtype and mutant sxy mRNAs in an in vitro system. The experiments were delayed while he finished and very capably defended his thesis, so now he's finishing the experiments as his first postdoctoral work. He's also revising the figures as requested by various of the reviewers, and has already done some of the rewriting as part of his thesis. So tomorrow we'll sit down and see how much we can finalize.

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