Structural Biochemistry/Nucleic Acid/RNA/RNA modification/RNA Degradation
RNA degradation is a very ancient and important process. It is a physiological process of the cell cycle to maintain a balanced RNA concentration. To do this, cells secret an abundance of RNases, or ribonucleases, enzymes that help to break apart RNA. RNases play a significant role in cellular immune system by defending against RNA viruses, eradicating of old and non-viable RNAs, and manipulating of the nucleotides for RNA sequencing and gene expression. Viable RNAs avoid degradation by RNases by protecting themselves with “armors” such as the G-cap and the poly-A-tail. Also there are RNase inhibitors that bind to RNases, prohibiting them from cleaving RNA strands.