Parasite or partner? Study suggests new role for junk DNA

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Junk DNA is the Rodney Dangerfield of the genetics world. It makes up nearly half of all human DNA, but many scientists dismiss it as useless gibberish. A new study published online today from the June 2002 issue of Nature Genetics, however, suggests that segments of junk DNA called LINE-1 elements deserve more respect.

Conducted by scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School and Louisiana State University, the study is the first to show in mammalian cells that some human LINE-1, or L1, elements can jump to chromosomes with broken strands of DNA, slip into the break and repair the damage.

Transposable L1 elements make up 17 percent of our DNA, but very little is known about them, says John V. Moran, Ph.D., an assistant professor of human genetics and internal medicine in the U-M Medical School, who developed the first assay to identify mobile L1s in the human and mouse genomes. Until now, everyone thought L1s were just intracellular parasites in our DNA leftovers from the distant evolutionary past. The big question in the field is: Are they still there because we cant get rid of them or do they have a function?

L1s reproduce by using RNA and a process called reverse transcription to make complementary DNA copies of themselves, which can jump into other DNA sequences. Normally, L1s use an enzyme called endonuclease to cut the genetic DNA and create a space, so they can plug themselves into the genome.

We knew about the endonuclease pathway, says Tammy A. Morrish, a U-M graduate student in human genetics and first author of the paper. But we didnt know there was another mechanism that didnt require endonuclease, or that L1s could jump into existing breaks in DNA.

Morrish tested human L1s ability to repair DNA breaks in several normal and DNA-repair mutant cell lines derived from Chinese hamster ovary cells. Other researchers had demonstrated the ability of human L1s to repair DNA breaks in yea

Contact: Sally Pobojewski
University of Michigan Health System

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Parasites enzyme structure helps address a public health issue
2. Parasites mediate plant invasions
3. Parasites prevent ants from protecting coffee plants
4. Parasite, mosquito genomes complete malaria picture
5. Parasite offers natural way to control leaf-eating slugs
6. Parasites sperm-encryption keeps species apart
7. Parasites, Not Pollution, Responsible For Some Frog Deformities, As Reported In The 30 April Issue Of Science
8. Genetic Code Of Chromosome Of Malaria Parasite Deciphered
9. Veterinary Researchers Identify Accomplice Of Calf-Killing Parasite
10. Discovery Of Plant-Like Metabolic Pathway In Common Parasites Supplies New Targets For Therapy
11. Puppy Parasites

Post Your Comments:
TAG: Parasite partner Study suggests new role for junk DNA

(Date:9/10/2015)... Report Details The global wearable ... previous expectations of revenues, consumer adoption and even technological ... which wearables begin to achieve that mass market acceptance ... reasons is the entrance of Apple to the SmartWatches ... but the overall size of the wearable technology market. ...
(Date:9/9/2015)... , Sept. 9, 2015  NuData Security ... and solution-based milestones, furthering the company,s commitment to ... online fraud. NuData Security,s online fraud ... the company,s growth cycle. The product combines continual ... determine good user behavior from fraudulent behavior, allowing ...
(Date:9/2/2015)... Sept. 2, 2015 About hand geometry biometrics ... banks, government organizations, telecommunication and hospitals as well as ... badges, and numeric keypads are used to prevent unauthorised ... palm and fingers of an individual, width of the ... with infrared light and reflectors can be used for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/8/2015)... MADISON, N.J. , Oct. 8, 2015  Genetic ... guidelines may aid the identification of more couples at ... to a study presented today at the 2015 American ... through October 10 in Baltimore, Maryland ... from Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX ) are presenting ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 2015 http://www.GoldmanResearch.com .   ... Goldman Small Cap Research, a stock market ... microcap sectors, announced today that it has published ... Inc. (OTCQB - PMCB), a publicly traded, clinical ... treatments for cancer and diabetes. To view the ...
(Date:10/8/2015)...  The ALS Association, in partnership with Prize4Life, is ... revolutionize communication technology solutions for people living with ALS. ... (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that ... spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability ... to total paralysis and death within two to five ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... , ... October 08, 2015 , ... Talon Innovations, a ... Aerospace and other technology-driven industries, announces that it is one of three finalists for ... Midsize Company.” On Thursday, September 25 Talon Innovations was recognized as a nominee ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: