Prions may play crucial role in evolution.

eritance of the prion state and the normal state. A spontaneous switch between the two states occurs approximately once in a million generations. Because a yeast colony produces a new generation every two hours, in a short time a colony will produce some members that have switched their state.

"Its an all or nothing switch, with the changes immediately inherited by all the progeny," said Lindquist. "But because the cell maintains the ability to switch back, the prion switch allows cells to occupy a new niche without losing their capacity to occupy the old."

The researchers exposed seven distinct genetic strains of yeast in their prion and non-prion states to 150 different growth conditions. The prion-positive state had a substantial effect on the growth of the yeast in nearly half of the conditions tested. In more than 25 percent of these cases its effects were positive. The incredible diversity of the advantages conveyed by the prions indicated that each strain had different novel genes turned on in its prion-positive state.

This prion switch is conserved in yeast across very distantly related genetic strains. Though the switch may have evolved as an accidental consequence of a shape change in an unimportant functioning part of the Sup35, its conservation suggests an evolutionary advantage.

"It may be that the prion switch offers yeast a way to respond to commonly fluctuating environments," said Lindquist. "During its evolution S. cerevisiae (brewers yeast) must have met with such erratic environments that it needed to maintain a global mechanism for exploiting genome-wide variation."

By providing yeast with a way to respond to fluctuating environments, the prion switch may offer a significant evolutionary advantage.

"Though we havent shown it yet, selective pressure should operate to fix the advantageous genes, which could then be read and translated at all times," said Lindquist.

Prion mechanisms could be more common

Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
University of Chicago Medical Center

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Prions act as stepping stones in evolution
2. Prions offer nanotech building tool
3. Prions are modular
4. New Evidence On How Prions Turn Fatal
5. University Of California-San Francisco Researchers Report Test That Detects Prion Diseases, Illuminates Novel Findings About Infectious Prions
6. The telomere crisis: A crucial stage in breast cancer
7. UNC scientists uncover crucial mechanism for blood vessel development
8. When combining new oral anti-cancer agents with standard chemotherapy, timing may be crucial
9. UNC researchers identify protein crucial to gene silencing
10. Scientists map signaling molecule crucial to survival, disease
11. Researchers identify molecular signaling system that is crucial for plant fertility

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/7/2018)... ... 2018 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl Peck, MD ... experience in clinical trial management, including managing operations and trials focused on oncology ... joined the firm as an Expert Consultant. , Prior to joining NDA ...
(Date:11/6/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... November 06, 2018 , ... uBiome, the ... Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Co-President of ... a scientific adviser to uBiome since 2013, and we are honored that he is ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... November 01, 2018 , ... ... New Challenges and New Opportunities, **Presented by FDAnews**, Dec. 6, 2018 – Kleinfeld, ... , Early bird pricing for Emerging Trends in Medical Device Regulation and Quality ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/13/2018)... ... November 12, 2018 , ... ... stethoscope contamination that two large U.S. studies, published last week, confirm pose a ... Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) conclude that stethoscopes are often improperly or rarely ...
(Date:11/11/2018)... , ... November 09, 2018 , ... Triple W, an ... CES® 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree for DFree ®, the first health tech ... when it’s time to go to the bathroom. The announcement was made during CES ...
(Date:11/7/2018)... ... November 07, 2018 , ... Diversified Technologies, Inc. (DTI) ... the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation at ASU. Funded by a USDA ... for those involved with algal and predator control applications. , Algae ponds get up ...
(Date:11/5/2018)... ... November 05, 2018 , ... 2Blades has ... Activator Like (TAL) effector code technology for applications in advancing research in epigenetic ... in plants. Since its discovery in 2009, the efficacy of TAL effector-based DNA targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: