HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ancient "Jumping DNA" May Have Evolved into Key Component of Human Immune System

August 20, 1998-The human immune system, an elegant and intricate biological defense system unmatched in most life forms, may have evolved from a mobile piece of DNA that inserted itself into the mammalian genome more than 450 million years ago.

A team of researchers led by David G. Schatz at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University has found evidence that tiny gene particles vital to the task of producing millions of different kinds of antibodies act like a gene segment that can "jump" into foreign DNA. Although there are many examples of such genes in lower organisms, it is the first cut-and-paste "transposase" ever found in humans.

"This helps explain why the jawed vertebrates are the only species that have a second, adaptive immune system, in addition to the innate immune system that all other species have," says Schatz, an immunologist. His study, conducted with Yale researchers Alka Agrawal and Quinn M. Eastman, is published in the August 20 issue of the journal Nature.

An adaptive immune system relies on two lines of defense to detect and destroy invaders. Both parts of the immune system belong to a class of white blood cells called lymphocytes, found in the blood and lymphoid organs. B lymphocytes produce antibodies that bind tightly to a foreign molecule, inactivating it or marking it for destruction by other cells in the immune system. T lymphocytes detect the presence of foreign molecules inside special "processing" cells once those cells have displayed a fragment of the foreign molecule-those pieces are called antigens-on the processing cell's surface. So-called T-cell receptors on the surface of the T lymphocyte bind strongly to the antigen.

Although they perform different functions, both B and T lymphocytes use the same unique genetic mechanism to economically generate an almost unlimited number of antibodies and T-cell receptors. Indeed, the human immune system is capable of producing a larger number of different ant
'"/>

Contact: Jim Keeley
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
20-Aug-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Ancient life form may help create newest technologies
2. Ancient brewery discovered on mountaintop in Peru
3. Ancient Greeks help scientists build environmentally friendly nano devices
4. Ancient DNA mutations permitted humans to adapt to colder climates, UCI researchers find
5. Ancient Inca road in desperate need of protection
6. Ancient DNA analysis unveils mystery of historys most horribly deformed man -- The Elephant Man
7. Ancient pollen yields insight into forest biodiversity
8. Ancient defense mechanism may still be protecting us
9. Ancient flower fossil points to underwater origins
10. Ancient supernova may have triggered eco-catastrophe
11. Ancient Chinese folk remedy may hold key to non-toxic cancer treatment

Post Your Comments:
(Date:8/12/2015)... YORK , Aug. 12, 2015  New ... hackers can attack Android phones to steal users, ... the increasing availability of fingerprint scanners on mobile ... utmost concern. To secure biometrics on mobile devices, ... to augment these convenient authentication systems with strong ...
(Date:8/6/2015)... 6, 2015  Today, U.S. Congressman Mike ... ™ to learn firsthand how Silicon Valley technologies ... is a world leader in multi-factor identity management ... helping federal agencies and commercial organizations achieve new ... "The vast majority of network breaches can ...
(Date:8/5/2015)... , Aug. 5, 2015 The biosensors market ... in applications, penetration into newer sectors, and development of ... global biosensors space has seen the entry of multiple ... so far. (Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150805/255570 ) ... Analysis of the Global Biosensors Market ( ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):HYPR Corp. Addresses Android Vulnerability That Exposes Ecosystem-wide Biometric Security Challenges 2HYPR Corp. Addresses Android Vulnerability That Exposes Ecosystem-wide Biometric Security Challenges 3Rep. Honda to Visit Crossmatch in Redwood City 2Innovative Biosensors Incite Use in Non-Traditional Applications 2Innovative Biosensors Incite Use in Non-Traditional Applications 3Innovative Biosensors Incite Use in Non-Traditional Applications 4
(Date:8/31/2015)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cbgl72/middle_east_and ) has announced the ... Sensors Market - Growth, Trends & Forecasts (2014-2020)" ... Middle East & Africa Biomedical Sensors ... a CAGR of 3.26% over the period 2014-2020 ... are adaptable to the genetic formulation of each individual. ...
(Date:8/31/2015)... Aug. 31, 2015  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ... discovering and developing innovative therapies primarily in the ... the 30-day review period following the filing of ... indications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... active. Logo -  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130917/NE80755LOGO ...
(Date:8/31/2015)... SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , Aug. 31, 2015 ... on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies, ... , M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer and ... Drs. Wong and Ho join an experienced management team ... company: Jordan Fridman , Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer; ...
(Date:8/31/2015)... ... 31, 2015 , ... Regulatory agencies have acknowledged impurities especially ... process. Thus, innovator companies must understand what will be needed in the drug ... been hosting multiple educational panels and seminars for experts to share advice concerning ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Middle East & Africa Biomedical Sensors Market Report 2015 - Growth, Trends & Forecasts to 2020 2RXi Pharmaceuticals Announces Advancements in its Ophthalmology Clinical Program with RXI-109 2RXi Pharmaceuticals Announces Advancements in its Ophthalmology Clinical Program with RXI-109 3RXi Pharmaceuticals Announces Advancements in its Ophthalmology Clinical Program with RXI-109 4FLX Bio Announces Senior Management Hires and Initiation of Phase 1 Trial of FLX925 2FLX Bio Announces Senior Management Hires and Initiation of Phase 1 Trial of FLX925 3FLX Bio Announces Senior Management Hires and Initiation of Phase 1 Trial of FLX925 4Regis Shares Expert Advice on Impurities in Drug Development 2Regis Shares Expert Advice on Impurities in Drug Development 3
Cached News: