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:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... PUNE, India , March 23, 2017 The report ... Equipment, Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... growing at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... Logo ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Optimove , provider of ... such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today announced two ... Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, these features ... replenishment recommendations to their customers based not just ... customer intent drawn from a complex web of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... RoviSys, a leading independent ... the opening of an office in Taipei, Taiwan. This new location allows RoviSys ... developing new relationships in the region. Located in the Neihu area of Taipei, ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... VetStem Biopharma ’s CEO and founder, Dr. Bob Harman ... Riordan’s new book "Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide". Dr. Harman and Dr. Riordan ... bonded over an interest in the potential of stem cell therapy and a fast friendship ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Avomeen Analytical ... recipients of its 2017 Science Student Award. The scholarship program is dedicated to ... community service defray the costs of obtaining their science education. , Avomeen began ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... ... to produce biochar, briquettes, and torrefied wood is the topic of a ... To characterize the potential economic viability of transportable biomass conversion facilities for producing ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: