HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Junk DNA yields new kind of gene

BOSTON-In a region of DNA long considered a genetic wasteland, Harvard Medical School researchers have discovered a new class of gene. Most genes carry out their tasks by making a product-a protein or enzyme. This is true of those that provide the body's raw materials, the structural genes, and those that control other genes' activities, the regulatory genes. The new one, found in yeast, does not produce a protein. It performs its function, in this case to regulate a nearby gene, simply by being turned on.

Joseph Martens, Lisa Laprade, and Fred Winston found that by switching on the new gene, they could stop the neighboring structural gene from being expressed. "It is the active transcription of another gene that is regulating the process," said Martens, HMS research fellow in genetics and lead author of the June 3 Nature study .

"I cannot think of another regulatory gene such as this one," said Winston, HMS professor of genetics. The researchers have evidence that the new gene, SRG1, works by physically blocking transcription of the adjacent gene, SER3. They found that transcription of SRG1 prevents the binding of a critical piece of SER3's transcriptional machinery.

The discovery raises tantalizing questions. How does this gene-blocking occur? Do other regulatory genes work in this fashion? Does the same mechanism occur in mammals, including humans?

At the same time, SRG1 provides clues to a recent puzzle. Researchers have lately begun to suspect that the long stretches of apparently useless, or junk, DNA might possess a hidden function. In the past year, evidence has been pouring in, not just from yeast but from mammals, that these apparently silent regions produce RNAs, which are associated with transcriptional activity (see Focus, March 5, 2004 http://focus.hms.harvard.edu/2004/March5_2004/biological_chemistry.html). Yet no one has found associa
'"/>

Contact: Judith Montminy / Misia Landau
public_affairs@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0442
Harvard Medical School
2-Jun-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Alaska scientists find Arctic tundra yields surprising carbon loss
2. Heart gene yields insights into evolution, disease risk
3. A genetic disorder yields insight into genes and cognition
4. Two-month study of life in mid-Atlantic yields trove of species, new insights & questions
5. Whale carcass yields bone-devouring worms
6. Study yields insights into precancerous condition
7. Water study yields a few surprises for New England
8. Access to DNA secrets yields better understanding of genes, possible tool for disease diagnosis
9. Mouse study yields clue to why liver is less prone to rejection, say Pitt researchers
10. Microbial biofilm yields community genomes, metabolic clues
11. Map of genes in plant root yields new tool for exploring tissue development

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


(Date:8/27/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... August 27, 2019 , ... ... company, announced today new opportunities to improve genetic testing guidelines. In the largest ... improve the guidelines to identify more at-risk patients. , Clinicians use guidelines ...
(Date:8/23/2019)... ... August 22, 2019 , ... R121 ... their acquisition in June of 2018. Along with the name change, this rebranding ... “Our goal was to create a cohesive brand that blended our core foundation ...
(Date:8/19/2019)... ... August 19, 2019 , ... Since the microscope was first ... dimensional slices which are placed on microscope slides, stained and visualized by a ... features such as vasculature and thus researchers in the last few years have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/11/2019)... ... 10, 2019 , ... An upcoming episode of Advancements with ... genome sequencing analysis. Check your local listings for more information. , Advancements will ... Consulting and will explore its revolutionary pathogenic DNA analysis technology, which predicts in ...
(Date:9/9/2019)... ... September 09, 2019 , ... Visikol CEO Dr. Michael Johnson recently gave a ... best to characterize 3D cell culture models. The inherent problem of characterizing 3D cell ... opaque to image through and therefore traditional wide-field or even confocal microscopy only tells ...
(Date:9/8/2019)... ... 05, 2019 , ... Spartan Bioscience, the leader in on-demand ... Shopify, has been named Chief Financial Officer. , Spartan has also named ... advisors. Additionally, Spartan has hired Steve Edgett as Executive Vice President to lead ...
(Date:9/2/2019)... and LIÉGE, Belgium (PRWEB) , ... September 02, ... ... solutions for epigenetics research and in vitro diagnostics, has launched the industry’s first ... uncover the underlying biological meaning of epigenetic data and other data types. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: