产品中心

Copyright (c) 2013 博鱼体育_首页 版权所有 网站地图
博鱼体育

博鱼体育三位科学家:RNAi获诺贝尔奖的遗憾

2021-09-20

生物通报道:来自英国剑桥大学生物技术学院,以及比利时法兰德斯大学校际生物科技研究所(the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology,VIB)的三名科学家向英国著名的《Nature》杂志寄出的一封信中,表示了他们对于此次RNAi获得诺贝尔奖的遗憾之处——植物RNAi研究领域科学家没有能包括在这一奖项中,《Nature》杂志将这封信公布了出来,见附录。

在这封信中比利时Marc Bots,以及英国Spencer Maughan和Jeroen Nieuwland这三位科学家表示:RNA干扰(RNA interference ,RNAi)的发现改变了基因调控研究的面貌,此届诺贝尔奖将医学/生理学奖颁给了RNA干扰(RNA interference ,RNAi)是对这一研究的重要承认。

在Marc Bots他们还是大学生的时候,他们见证了这一基因沉默机制的发现——在那时,几乎所有的RNAi研究都是由植物领域科学家们完成的,而当他们成为植物方面的研究人员之后也将自己的所主要研究领域定位在了这个分子系统中。就像所有伟大的发现一样,在十年前是无法完全预计RNAi重要性的,因此对于RNAi获得2006年的诺贝尔奖,他们并不感到惊讶。

但是让他们吃惊的是,植物领域科学家们在RNAi发现和机制阐述方面做出的关键性作用并没有获得同样的认可。虽然诺贝尔奖经常会出现争议,但是在这一事件上三位科学家认为是一个“grave error”(严重的失误)。他们指出,在奖项颁布的6个获奖理由中,许多都不是获奖者Andrew Fire 或 Craig Mello首先提出的,比如说基因沉默的序列特异性,RNA降解和转录后修饰的特征在植物和植物病毒学研究中均已提出,而且观测到沉默的非细胞自治性(non-cell-autonomous)也是首先在植物中提出的。除此之外,双螺旋RNA和扩增机制模型也是由植物学家在发表动物系统RNAi机制之前就公布了的。

因此,三位科学家认为在本次的诺贝尔医学/生理学奖得主应该为三位:增加一名植物学家。如果忽略了植物研究在RNAi研究一路走来的贡献,诺贝尔评审委员会也就破坏了诺贝尔奖在科学领域的重要地位,也会挫败科学家们,尤其是年轻科学家们的研究积极性。

本次的诺贝尔医学/生理学奖花落RNAi机制,合情合理但又出乎意料,引起了评论多多,这几位科学家对于评选结果少了植物学家而感到遗憾和气愤,也是有其部分充要理由的。然而作为一项基础研究成果和技术应用平台,RNAi干扰获得此次的诺贝尔奖不仅意义重要而且意味深长,并不仅局限于一两个方面,因此是否要顾忌获奖的完整性还需要诺贝尔委员会委员好好考虑。
(生物通:张迪)

 

附:
Nature 443, 906(26 October 2006) 
doi:10.1038/443906a; Published online 25 October 2006

RNAi Nobel ignores vital groundwork on plants
Marc Bots, Spencer Maughan and Jeroen Nieuwland

Sir:
The Nobel prize, by recognizing the individuals behind breakthroughs, inspires all scientists to do great science. The discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) changed the face of gene regulation, a feat deservedly recognized with this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine1.

As undergraduates, we witnessed with great excitement the discovery of gene silencing. At that time, almost all research in that area was being conducted by plant scientists, and as young plant biologists we were lucky to have front-row seats to this molecular drama.

Like all great advances, RNAi is turning out to be important in ways that could not have been guessed at even a decade ago. Therefore we were not surprised to discover that the topic was selected for this year's honour — but we were shocked that the plant scientists who were so crucial in discovering and communicating the underlying mechanism of RNAi were not awarded a share.

Of course there is often controversy around the awarding of the Nobel prize. Yet in this case we feel that a grave error has been made in overlooking key researchers, all of whom work on plants. Most of the six points cited in support of the prize were not first shown by Andrew Fire or Craig Mello, who won the prize, but were already known from plant research. For example, the sequence specificity, RNA degradation and post-transcriptional nature of gene silencing had all been shown in studies on plants and plant viruses2, 3. In addition, the observation that silencing is non-cell-autonomous was first done in plants4. Moreover, the models involving double-stranded RNA and amplification mechanisms had been proposed by plant researchers before the publications of RNAi mechanisms in animal systems5.

In our view, the main importance of the work by Fire, Mello and colleagues (accessible via ref. 1., together with other relevant articles) was the integration of these elements to demonstrate that they stood up to testing in an animal system, the nematode worn Caenorhabditis elegans. Subsequently, plant research continued to break new ground on mechanisms of RNAi-based genetic regulation.

As the Nobel prize may be shared by three people, a plant scientist should have been included. One who springs to mind as a pioneer in the field is David Baulcombe (see ). His work was key to understanding the mechanism of RNAi and paved the way for Fire and Mello's findings.

By ignoring the work done in plants, the Nobel committee has undermined the values at the centre of the prize and is sending a discouraging message, especially to young researchers.