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:11/4/2014)... PA) – Temple University School of Medicine announced ... winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & ... Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; and ... Temple University School of Medicine will pursue an ... "Maternal Blood Biomarkers to Assess Fetal Neurodevelopment.", Grand ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... identification technologies, today announced that the latest version ... place in the Ongoing MINEX evaluation ... interoperability of fingerprint algorithms using the INCITS 378 ... a mandatory requirement in public tenders in ...
(Date:11/2/2014)... In this month,s issue of Physics World , ... bridging the "valley of death" to take their innovations ... argues that the gruelling challenge facing all start-up companies ... harder for physicists because of two main factors: physics-based ... and they often turn out to be a lot ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Temple University School of Medicine receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant 2Neurotechnology Places Second in Ongoing MINEX Ranking for Fingerprint Matching Algorithms 2Neurotechnology Places Second in Ongoing MINEX Ranking for Fingerprint Matching Algorithms 3The 'valley of death' facing physics start-ups 2
(Date:11/22/2014)... November 21, 2014 On November 17th ... the 2014 Emerging Medical Technologies Summit in San Francisco ... Widely regarded among Silicon Valley investors and technology ... innovation, the win also positions Briteseed to move ... competition in 2015 and compete with other elite innovation ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... 2014 Respiratory therapy students will ... management of life-like respiratory ailments using the latest ... Grand Rapids-based, Michigan Instruments Inc. developers of the ... the respiratory simulation units to the pro-gram, which ... and Muskegon Community College are collaborating to offer ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... 2014   , ... Officer zu KLOX    ... Financial Officer bestellt    KLOX ist ... jüngst zugelassenen Behandlungssystems zur Wundheilung zu beginnen    , ... ist sehr erfreut, die folgenden personellen Veränderungen anzukündigen: ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... 21, 2014   TRU-D SmartUVC LLC and its ... UVC automated disinfection robot, TRU-D SmartUVC, at FIS 2014 in ... 23 to 26 at Stand 23. The conference, ... United Kingdom,s largest infection-related event of its kind ... one of the leading events of its type throughout the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Insight Product Development Accelerator Member Wins MedTech Innovator Award Competition 2Insight Product Development Accelerator Member Wins MedTech Innovator Award Competition 3Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 2Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 3KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 2KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 3KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 4KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 5TRU-D SmartUVC to Showcase Superbug-Killing Robot at FIS 2014 2TRU-D SmartUVC to Showcase Superbug-Killing Robot at FIS 2014 3
Cached News: