HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
'Junk' DNA may be very valuable to embryos

A new study sheds light on events orchestrating the changes when mammalian eggs are fertilized and become embryos. Researchers have discovered that expression of genes in mouse eggs and very early embryos is activated in part by regions of DNA called retrotransposons, which may have originated from retroviruses.

These regions, found in DNA of human, mouse, and other mammals in hundreds of thousands of copies, are called retrotransposons because they have the ability to propagate and insert themselves into different positions within the genome. The research, published in the October issue of Developmental Cell, suggests that retrotransposons may not be just the "junk DNA" once thought, but rather appear to be a large repository of start sites for initiating gene expression. Therefore, more than one third of the mouse and human genomes, previously thought to be non-functional, may play some role in the regulation of gene expression and promotion of genetic diversity.

Dr. Barbara B. Knowles and colleagues from The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, found that distinct retrotransposon types are unexpectedly active in mouse eggs, and others are activated in early embryos. Surprisingly, by acting as alternative promoters, retrotransposon-derived controlling elements drive the coordinated expression of multiple mouse genes. "To our knowledge, this is the first report that such elements can initiate synchronous, developmentally regulated expression of multiple genes," says Dr. Knowles. "Also, random insertions of these elements can introduce variation in genes, potentially altering their function."

The researchers think that expression of retrotransposons during very early stages may contribute to the reprogramming of the mammalian embryonic genome, a prerequisite for normal development.


'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
11-Oct-2004


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Junk DNA now looks like powerful regulator, Stanford researcher finds
2. Ecosystem of vanishing lake yields valuable bacterium
3. A valuable fly for research into disease
4. FDG PET takes its place as a valuable tool in diagnosing fevers of unknown origin
5. High-tech tags on marine animals yield valuable data for biologists and oceanographers
6. Sonography valuable in determining surgery in peroneal nerve injuries in the knee
7. Hybrid grass may prove to be valuable fuel source
8. Germanys embryo protection law is killing embryos rather than protecting them
9. Time-lapse recordings reveal why IVF embryos are more likely to develop into twins
10. Study: Donated embryos could result in more than 2,000 new embryonic stem cell lines
11. Changes in chromosomal constitution of preimplantation embryos suggest caution in genetic screening

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


(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... ... novel pharmaceuticals targeting mitochondria, in partnership with Essex Bio-Technology, a bio-pharmaceutical company ... U.S. Phase 3 VISTA-2 study of SkQ1 ophthalmic solution in patients with ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... CARLSBAD, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2020 ... ... of both Salimetrics LLC and SalivaBio LLC, businesses dedicated to Salivary Bioscience for ... co-editor of the recently published book by Springer, " Salivary Bioscience: Foundations of ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... ... August 06, 2020 , ... ... is pleased to announce that Eric Chen and Jessica Wong have joined the ... Management & Strategy, respectively. , Eric Chen heads development efforts for Alucio’s flagship ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... N.J (PRWEB) , ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... company, and Catalent, the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and ... today announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership whereby Catalent will ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... After research model surgery and ... a great surgery is only the beginning of a successful study, while protecting and ... Join Brad Gien, Global Head of Surgery from Envigo in a ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... today that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has expanded the company’s exclusive ... PathSensors to move into the point-of-care diagnostic market, focusing initially on the ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... MedShift , a ... 2020, despite many obstacles created as a result of COVID-19. As a provider ... partnered medical practices and medical manufacturers by expanding access to device offerings, technology ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: