Protein Sorting Signals
The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.
Various units or machines that operate in combination or in conjunction with a computer but are not physically part of it. Peripheral devices typically display computer data, store data from the computer and return the data to the computer on demand, prepare data for human use, or acquire data from a source and convert it to a form usable by a computer. (Computer Dictionary, 4th ed.)
Familiarity and comfort in using computers efficiently.
Systems composed of a computer or computers, peripheral equipment, such as disks, printers, and terminals, and telecommunications capabilities.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
Amino Acid Sequence
The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.
Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.
Computer Communication Networks
A system containing any combination of computers, computer terminals, printers, audio or visual display devices, or telephones interconnected by telecommunications equipment or cables: used to transmit or receive information. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)
The process of pictorial communication, between human and computers, in which the computer input and output have the form of charts, drawings, or other appropriate pictorial representation.
Nuclear Localization Signals
Short, predominantly basic amino acid sequences identified as nuclear import signals for some proteins. These sequences are believed to interact with specific receptors at the NUCLEAR PORE.
Small computers that lack the speed, memory capacity, and instructional capability of the full-size computer but usually retain its programmable flexibility. They are larger, faster, and more flexible, powerful, and expensive than microcomputers.
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Reproducibility of Results
The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.
Neural Networks (Computer)
A computer architecture, implementable in either hardware or software, modeled after biological neural networks. Like the biological system in which the processing capability is a result of the interconnection strengths between arrays of nonlinear processing nodes, computerized neural networks, often called perceptrons or multilayer connectionist models, consist of neuron-like units. A homogeneous group of units makes up a layer. These networks are good at pattern recognition. They are adaptive, performing tasks by example, and thus are better for decision-making than are linear learning machines or cluster analysis. They do not require explicit programming.
The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.
RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.
Recombinant Fusion Proteins
Recombinant proteins produced by the GENETIC TRANSLATION of fused genes formed by the combination of NUCLEIC ACID REGULATORY SEQUENCES of one or more genes with the protein coding sequences of one or more genes.
A loose confederation of computer communication networks around the world. The networks that make up the Internet are connected through several backbone networks. The Internet grew out of the US Government ARPAnet project and was designed to facilitate information exchange.
Text editing and storage functions using computer software.
Medical Records Systems, Computerized
Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.
A form of interactive entertainment in which the player controls electronically generated images that appear on a video display screen. This includes video games played in the home on special machines or home computers, and those played in arcades.
Protein Structure, Tertiary
The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.
Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of the neurological system, processes or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.
Computers that combine the functions of analog and digital computers. (Sippl, Computer Dictionary, 4th ed)
A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).
A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.
Protective measures against unauthorized access to or interference with computer operating systems, telecommunications, or data structures, especially the modification, deletion, destruction, or release of data in computers. It includes methods of forestalling interference by computer viruses or so-called computer hackers aiming to compromise stored data.
Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.
Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
A broad category of carrier proteins that play a role in SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION. They generally contain several modular domains, each of which having its own binding activity, and act by forming complexes with other intracellular-signaling molecules. Signal-transducing adaptor proteins lack enzyme activity, however their activity can be modulated by other signal-transducing enzymes
The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.
Signal Detection, Psychological
Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of systems, processes, or phenomena. They include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.
Sensitivity and Specificity
Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (CELL NUCLEOLUS). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)
The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.
Nuclear Export Signals
Specific amino acid sequences present in the primary amino acid sequence of proteins which mediate their export from the CELL NUCLEUS. They are rich in hydrophobic residues, such as LEUCINE and ISOLEUCINE.
A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.
The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.
Gene Expression Regulation
Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.
The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.
Surgical procedures conducted with the aid of computers. This is most frequently used in orthopedic and laparoscopic surgery for implant placement and instrument guidance. Image-guided surgery interactively combines prior CT scans or MRI images with real-time video.
The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
Cumulative Trauma Disorders
Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of genetic processes or phenomena. They include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
Use of computers or computer systems for doing routine clerical work, e.g., billing, records pertaining to the administration of the office, etc.
Investigative technique commonly used during ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY in which a series of bright light flashes or visual patterns are used to elicit brain activity.
Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.
STAT3 Transcription Factor
A field of biology concerned with the development of techniques for the collection and manipulation of biological data, and the use of such data to make biological discoveries or predictions. This field encompasses all computational methods and theories for solving biological problems including manipulation of models and datasets.
The part of a cell that contains the CYTOSOL and small structures excluding the CELL NUCLEUS; MITOCHONDRIA; and large VACUOLES. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)
The use of computers for designing and/or manufacturing of anything, including drugs, surgical procedures, orthotics, and prosthetics.
Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.
The process of generating three-dimensional images by electronic, photographic, or other methods. For example, three-dimensional images can be generated by assembling multiple tomographic images with the aid of a computer, while photographic 3-D images (HOLOGRAPHY) can be made by exposing film to the interference pattern created when two laser light sources shine on an object.
Computer Storage Devices
Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of the cardiovascular system, processes, or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers and other electronic equipment.
Extrachromosomal, usually CIRCULAR DNA molecules that are self-replicating and transferable from one organism to another. They are found in a variety of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, algal, and plant species. They are used in GENETIC ENGINEERING as CLONING VECTORS.
Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.
One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.
Any visible result of a procedure which is caused by the procedure itself and not by the entity being analyzed. Common examples include histological structures introduced by tissue processing, radiographic images of structures that are not naturally present in living tissue, and products of chemical reactions that occur during analysis.
Hospital Information Systems
Genetically engineered MUTAGENESIS at a specific site in the DNA molecule that introduces a base substitution, or an insertion or deletion.
Protein Processing, Post-Translational
Any of various enzymatically catalyzed post-translational modifications of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS in the cell of origin. These modifications include carboxylation; HYDROXYLATION; ACETYLATION; PHOSPHORYLATION; METHYLATION; GLYCOSYLATION; ubiquitination; oxidation; proteolysis; and crosslinking and result in changes in molecular weight and electrophoretic motility.
Communication Aids for Disabled
Equipment that provides mentally or physically disabled persons with a means of communication. The aids include display boards, typewriters, cathode ray tubes, computers, and speech synthesizers. The output of such aids includes written words, artificial speech, language signs, Morse code, and pictures.
Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
The act, process, or result of passing from one place or position to another. It differs from LOCOMOTION in that locomotion is restricted to the passing of the whole body from one place to another, while movement encompasses both locomotion but also a change of the position of the whole body or any of its parts. Movement may be used with reference to humans, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and microorganisms. Differentiate also from MOTOR ACTIVITY, movement associated with behavior.
Promoter Regions, Genetic
DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.
Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.
A molecule that binds to another molecule, used especially to refer to a small molecule that binds specifically to a larger molecule, e.g., an antigen binding to an antibody, a hormone or neurotransmitter binding to a receptor, or a substrate or allosteric effector binding to an enzyme. Ligands are also molecules that donate or accept a pair of electrons to form a coordinate covalent bond with the central metal atom of a coordination complex. (From Dorland, 27th ed)
Nucleic Acid Conformation
Extensive collections, reputedly complete, of facts and data garnered from material of a specialized subject area and made available for analysis and application. The collection can be automated by various contemporary methods for retrieval. The concept should be differentiated from DATABASES, BIBLIOGRAPHIC which is restricted to collections of bibliographic references.
The movement of materials (including biochemical substances and drugs) through a biological system at the cellular level. The transport can be across cell membranes and epithelial layers. It also can occur within intracellular compartments and extracellular compartments.
The transmission and reproduction of transient images of fixed or moving objects. An electronic system of transmitting such images together with sound over a wire or through space by apparatus that converts light and sound into electrical waves and reconverts them into visible light rays and audible sound. (From Webster, 3rd ed)
CELL LINES derived from the CV-1 cell line by transformation with a replication origin defective mutant of SV40 VIRUS, which codes for wild type large T antigen (ANTIGENS, POLYOMAVIRUS TRANSFORMING). They are used for transfection and cloning. (The CV-1 cell line was derived from the kidney of an adult male African green monkey (CERCOPITHECUS AETHIOPS).)
Green Fluorescent Proteins
Protein analogs and derivatives of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein that emit light (FLUORESCENCE) when excited with ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. They are used in REPORTER GENES in doing GENETIC TECHNIQUES. Numerous mutants have been made to emit other colors or be sensitive to pH.
The fission of a CELL. It includes CYTOKINESIS, when the CYTOPLASM of a cell is divided, and CELL NUCLEUS DIVISION.
Receptors, Cell Surface
Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.
Sequence Analysis, DNA
A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Improvement of the quality of a picture by various techniques, including computer processing, digital filtering, echocardiographic techniques, light and ultrastructural MICROSCOPY, fluorescence spectrometry and microscopy, scintigraphy, and in vitro image processing at the molecular level.
Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of chemical processes or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.
Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.
Specifications and instructions applied to the software.
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
A technique applicable to the wide variety of substances which exhibit paramagnetism because of the magnetic moments of unpaired electrons. The spectra are useful for detection and identification, for determination of electron structure, for study of interactions between molecules, and for measurement of nuclear spins and moments. (From McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 7th edition) Electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy is a variant of the technique which can give enhanced resolution. Electron spin resonance analysis can now be used in vivo, including imaging applications such as MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING.
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
A superfamily of PROTEIN-SERINE-THREONINE KINASES that are activated by diverse stimuli via protein kinase cascades. They are the final components of the cascades, activated by phosphorylation by MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASE KINASES, which in turn are activated by mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAP KINASE KINASE KINASES).
Monte Carlo Method
In statistics, a technique for numerically approximating the solution of a mathematical problem by studying the distribution of some random variable, often generated by a computer. The name alludes to the randomness characteristic of the games of chance played at the gambling casinos in Monte Carlo. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed, 1993)
A group of enzymes that catalyzes the phosphorylation of serine or threonine residues in proteins, with ATP or other nucleotides as phosphate donors.
The storing or preserving of video signals for television to be played back later via a transmitter or receiver. Recordings may be made on magnetic tape or discs (VIDEODISC RECORDING).
Medical Informatics Applications
In Situ Hybridization
The field of information science concerned with the analysis and dissemination of medical data through the application of computers to various aspects of health care and medicine.
Amino Acid Motifs
Commonly observed structural components of proteins formed by simple combinations of adjacent secondary structures. A commonly observed structure may be composed of a CONSERVED SEQUENCE which can be represented by a CONSENSUS SEQUENCE.
Devices or objects in various imaging techniques used to visualize or enhance visualization by simulating conditions encountered in the procedure. Phantoms are used very often in procedures employing or measuring x-irradiation or radioactive material to evaluate performance. Phantoms often have properties similar to human tissue. Water demonstrates absorbing properties similar to normal tissue, hence water-filled phantoms are used to map radiation levels. Phantoms are used also as teaching aids to simulate real conditions with x-ray or ultrasonic machines. (From Iturralde, Dictionary and Handbook of Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Imaging, 1990)
The first continuously cultured human malignant CELL LINE, derived from the cervical carcinoma of Henrietta Lacks. These cells are used for VIRUS CULTIVATION and antitumor drug screening assays.
Ambulatory Care Information Systems
Information Storage and Retrieval
Tumor Cells, Cultured
Cells grown in vitro from neoplastic tissue. If they can be established as a TUMOR CELL LINE, they can be propagated in cell culture indefinitely.
A system of cisternae in the CYTOPLASM of many cells. In places the endoplasmic reticulum is continuous with the plasma membrane (CELL MEMBRANE) or outer membrane of the nuclear envelope. If the outer surfaces of the endoplasmic reticulum membranes are coated with ribosomes, the endoplasmic reticulum is said to be rough-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, ROUGH); otherwise it is said to be smooth-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, SMOOTH). (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)
Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Evaluation Studies as Topic
Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
Cell Line, Tumor
A cell line derived from cultured tumor cells.
Proteins found in the nucleus of a cell. Do not confuse with NUCLEOPROTEINS which are proteins conjugated with nucleic acids, that are not necessarily present in the nucleus.
Analysis of Variance
Polymerase Chain Reaction
In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.
Escherichia coli Proteins
Proteins obtained from ESCHERICHIA COLI.
A plant genus of the family BRASSICACEAE that contains ARABIDOPSIS PROTEINS and MADS DOMAIN PROTEINS. The species A. thaliana is used for experiments in classical plant genetics as well as molecular genetic studies in plant physiology, biochemistry, and development.
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Gene Expression Profiling
Equipment Failure Analysis
Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified - cytotoxic (T-LYMPHOCYTES, CYTOTOXIC) and helper T-lymphocytes (T-LYMPHOCYTES, HELPER-INDUCER). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the THYMUS GLAND and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen.
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.
Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
Proteins and peptides that are involved in SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION within the cell. Included here are peptides and proteins that regulate the activity of TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS and cellular processes in response to signals from CELL SURFACE RECEPTORS. Intracellular signaling peptide and proteins may be part of an enzymatic signaling cascade or act through binding to and modifying the action of other signaling factors.
A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)