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Prémio Câmara Pestana attributed to work on RNA metabolism

ITQB research distinguished for two years in a row
Prémio Câmara Pestana attributed to work on RNA metabolism

Prémio Câmara Pestana 2008

Oeiras, 26/11/08

The Prémio Câmara Pestana 2008 was attributed to the research work "Unravelling the dynamics of RNA degradation by ribonuclease II and its RNA-bound complex" published in Nature (2006) by ITQB researchers, Carlos Frazão, Colin E. McVey, Mónica Amblar, Ana Barbas, Cecília M. Arraiano and Maria A. Carrondo. This is the second year in a row that this scientific award is attributed to research work produced at ITQB.

The paper awarded in 2008 reports the 3D structural determination of the bacterial ribonuclease II, an enzyme that degrades RNA. Two structures were obtained; the structure of the native RNase II and the structure of a mutant RNase II that holds to RNA molecules without degrading them. The comparison between both structures together with the extensive molecular and biochemical data already obtained showed how RNase II degrades RNA molecules.

The previous prize, Prémio Câmara Pestana 2007, had been attributed to the work "Biosynthetic pathways of inositol and glycerol phosphodiesters used by the hyperthermophile Archaeoglobus fulgidus in stress adaptation" by Nuno Borges, Luís G. Gonçalves, Marta V. Rodrigues, Filipa Siopa, Rita Ventura, Christopher Maycock, Pedro Lamosa and Helena Santos.

The Prémio Câmara Pestana is one of the most prestigious scientific awards in Portugal. Since 1939, this annual award acknowledges the best scientific work in microbiology developed by Portuguese scientists, teams or institutions. The award, attributed jointly by Instituto Câmara Pestana and GlaxoSmithkline, consists of 2,500 euros in prize money and aims to stimulate both creativity and accuracy in scientific research in this area.

The award ceremony will take place in 2009, during the first stone laying ceremony for the new Instituto Câmara Pestana building.

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