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:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data ... precision engineering platform, detected a statistically significant ... product prior to treatment and objective response ... the potential to predict whether cancer patients ... to treatment, as well as to improve ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... the health IT company that operates the largest health ... today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross BlueShield ... investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create the ... activities through the collection and workflow integration of ambient ... secures data today on behalf of over 36 million ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the surface electromyography ... generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective multicenter phase ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, ... ... leader in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, ... Hi-C kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... 06, 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network (HTVN) is ... fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are invited to ... showcasing early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This day-long event ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... October 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the ... from around the world, is giving back to cancer research with a month-long promotion ... , Now through October 31, shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: