The production of messenger RNA, François Jacob
Interviewee: François Jacob. François Jacob, Sydney Brenner and Matt Meselson worked on the role of mRNA. An on/off switch involving mRNA seemed a logical control point for protein production. (DNAi Location: Code > Controlling the code > Players > François Jacob and Jacques Monod >The on/off switch)
This common model was that the gene was making this messenger RNA, coming through the ribosome and that the control of the expression of the gene was at the level of the production of messenger RNA. And so I brought this model to Monod who at first didn't like it, and find a lot of argument against. And one of the arguments against was that he could have the production of enzyme at different slope, that is different intensity of synthesis, and he said that he couldn't see in my model how it worked. And I said that you could simply act by, the model was that you have some kind of a switch to make the messenger RNA, and that closing or opening the switch at different speed could result in the production at different speed of the protein. And I gave him as a model my son, who has an electric train, who is not, no rheostat, he could not change the intensity of the current in the machine but he was switching back and forth and then he could regulate the speed.
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Matt Meselson also had a hand in Sydney Brenner's RNA experiment. He talks about the experiment and how they waited for James Watson's group to finished their RNA work before publishing.
In this first of a two-part clip, Sydney Brenner describes the information transfer problem from DNA to the protein-making machinery.
François Jacob talks about the relationship between DNA, ribosomes, and protein production.
In this second of a two-part clip, Sydney Brenner describes the experiment they did to prove the existence and function of RNA.
François Jacob talks about how he and Jacques Monod named messenger RNA.
Sydney Brenner describes what messenger RNA production would look like.
Sydney Brenner, François Jacob and Matt Meselson's experiment showed that RNA was a copy of the information in DNA. As a messenger, RNA transported the information from the nucleus to the protein-making machinery in the cell.
Sydney Brenner showed that mRNA was the unstable intermediate that carried the message from DNA to the ribosomes.
Francis Crick describes RNA and its role and Paul Zamecnick explains protein synthesis.
François Jacob talks about bacterial mutants that could not metabolize lactose. Using these mutants, Jacob and Monod figured out how protein production is controlled.