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Death Cap mushroom

By allegraco Apr 27, 2014 408 Words
Replication and
Transmission of DNA and
Western Governors University

DNA Replication

DNA and the function of Ligase

mRNA in Transcription and Translation

Death by Inhibition: RNA polymerase and the Death
Cap Mushroom

Ingestion of the Death Cap Mushroom

No Presenting symptoms for 48 hours
The deadly toxin is alpha-amanitin
Amanitin has a great attraction to RNA polymerase
It’s toxin blocks RNA polymerase from functioning
Without RNA polymerase no proteins can be made
If no proteins are made cells can no longer function
(Santi, et al., 2012)

If you took RNA polymerase out of the equation?
Human cells use RNA polymerase to make a template of a cell’s DNA. It is one of the first steps in the process of eventual protein production. RNA is the enzyme that makes RNA chains using genes found in DNA as a pattern. These specific genetic codes are

expressed on mRNA. When the toxin blocks the action of RNA
polymerase, it by default, stops the production of mRNA in the transcription phase. mRNA, if available, goes on to the translation phase and is read by tRNA. In the reading of the mRNA pattern, tRNA matches the correct amino acid to that specific pattern. The amino acids are read and placed three at a time to match the mRNA codon. From these codon of amino acids, polypeptides are formed with the help of the cell’s ribosome. In turn, these polypeptides form to make proteins. (Hudon-Miller, 2012)

What’s the big deal about protein?
Proteins, the performers of the cell, cause action at all levels of cellular functioning. At the cellular level protein is needed to reproduce that cell, for cell structure and functioning. Proteins are also used as enzymes to begin other biochemical functions that affect everything from immunity to electrolyte balance. The liver’s function has decreased because the proteins needed to make it’s cells work have been blocked by alpha-amanitin’s ability to stop protein production simply by blocking the function of RNA

polymerase. These proteins are so important that without them you die as they destroy first your body’s filters, the liver and the kidneys. (Hudon-Miller, 2012; Santi, et al., 2012)


Luca Santi, Caterina Maggioli, Marianna Mastroroberto, Manuel Tufoni, Lucia Napoli, and Paolo Caraceni, “Acute liver failure caused by amanita phalloides poisoning.” International Journal of Hepatology, vol. 2012, Article ID 487480, 6 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/487480 Hudon-Miller, S. (2012) Death cap mushrooms. Retrieved from v=vXONgeDC31A&

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