HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Gene mutation alters feeding behavior

DALLAS - Jan. 11, 2000 - A tiny transparent worm has enabled the first complete description of the biochemical steps leading from a genetic mutation to a change in behavior, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas investigators reported in the December 24th issue of Science.

The understanding of the connection between genes and behavior at the molecular level is a major goal of neurobiology.

"A question we want to answer in looking at the human genome is what controls behavior," said Dr. Leon Avery, associate professor of molecular biology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the paper. "I believe a lot of the genetics of human behavior will be understandable in molecular terms through a change in a single ion channel or single receptor molecule."

The researchers studied a worm called a c. elegans that had a mutation that affected its feeding behavior. They showed that the mutation in the gene exp-2 caused an abnormality in a potassium channel so that it remained open rather than opening and closing normally. This alteration prevented opening of the pharynx, the muscle used to eat.

The opening of the potassium channel, called EXP-2, causes muscle relaxation. Normally the muscle relaxes a fifth of a second after contraction of the muscle. In the mutant worms, it relaxed in a 20th of a second after the contraction. This meant the muscle never contracted or opened all the way. The worms could not eat much because they could not take in adequate food.

"A good way to imagine this is that the pharyngeal muscle is like a pump, pumping food into the worm," Avery said. "It works very much like a human heart. If a heart pumps too fast, it can't really pump any blood before it starts to relax again."

Because the scientists were able to describe the biophysical, electrophysiological and behavioral effects of this mutation, they now know every step in the causal chain linking a mutation to altered feeding behav
'"/>

Contact: Susan Steeves
susan.steeves@email.swmed.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
6-Jan-2000


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Genetic mutations linked to the practice of burning coal in homes in China
2. Spontaneous mutation produces new MAO A/B knockout mouse
3. How an insidious mutation fools DNA replication
4. Using statistics to decipher secrets of natural mutation
5. Rare mutations can significantly increase risk factor for heart disease
6. Genetic mutation linked to more aggressive breast cancer found more often in African-Americans
7. LBP-1a gene mutation linked to disruption of normal fetal development
8. Genetic mutation found that is major contributor to type 1 diabetes
9. The mother lode of mutations
10. Gene mutation causes progressive changes to cell structure in children with Progeria
11. Single gene mutation muddying Parkinsons risk forecasts

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... 1a findings of Neihulizumab, a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host ... by hemato-oncologist Dr. Paul J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... JUPITER, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... will focus on innovations in accelerated Point of Care Testing solutions (POCT). Check local ... labs. Samples are collected at medical offices and are shipped to labs throughout the ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... WOODLNDS, Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2020 ... ... X-ray analytical instrumentation, is pleased to announce the next event in a series ... X-ray scattering. , The TOPIQ series of webinars was developed in response to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... July 16, 2020 , ... ... data solutions to aid in the early detection and prevention of high-burden diseases, ... to enable US-based hospitals and healthcare organizations to utilize existing data in order ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 08, 2020 , ... ... products, announces a significant expansion of laboratory operations through its COVID-19 testing ... implementing testing programs. , Bode-CARES provides a turnkey solution that ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... In ... commonly used to suppress pigment formation in zebrafish embryos, maintaining optical transparency to ... by Dr MA has been using the zebrafish model to investigate the causes ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... DIEGO (PRWEB) , ... July 06, 2020 , ... R3 ... new program featuring up to 200 million stem cells. Depending on the patient's condition, ... seniors in the US will die having some form of Alzheimers dementia, and the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: