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:11/15/2018)... ... November 14, 2018 , ... uBiome, the leader in ... director of Flatiron Functional Medicine to its Medical Advisory Board. Joining the board ... to uBiome extensive experience in treating the root causes of disease, conscientiously taking ...
(Date:11/13/2018)... , ... November 13, 2018 ... ... (MS) are a class of MS instrumentation with capability to resolve complex ... masses. Specifically, those coupled to liquid chromatograph (HRAM LC/MS) have been used ...
(Date:11/13/2018)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 12, 2018 , ... ... offering premier, interactive educational virtual events and webinars, will be hosting its 9th ... 15th, 2018, featuring new technologies and treatments available, and updates in regulatory processes ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/13/2018)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 13, 2018 , ... Renowned ... to patients on the island of Kauai. Dr. Leadbeater, of Kahala Pet ... services since 2009. Recently, he began traveling to the island of Kauai on ...
(Date:11/13/2018)... ... November 13, 2018 , ... Sharon Kleyne, founder ... in Grants Pass, Oregon believes in the power of talk radio education Power ... Science® sponsors the Power of Water® on talk radio every week with the ...
(Date:11/7/2018)... ... November 07, 2018 , ... Since September of this ... awareness of the adult tissue stem cell counting problem in stem cell medicine ... is intensifying this effort with new educational publications and presentations at clinical trial ...
(Date:11/5/2018)... ... November 05, 2018 , ... ... support for healthcare professionals through its website, http://www.glycomark.com , as part of ... chat and video option via the website in November from 9 a.m. – ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: