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A CNIO team reduces the size of the human genome to 19,000 genes
Date:7/3/2014

earchers mapped these proteins to the corresponding regions of the genome. They analysed thousands of genes that were annotated in the human genome, but that did not appear in the proteomics analysis and concluded: "1,700 of the genes that are supposed to produce proteins almost certainly do not for various reasons, either because they do not exhibit any protein coding features, or because the conservation of their reading frames does not support protein coding ability, "says Tress.

One hypothesis derived from the study is that more than 90% of human genes produce proteins that originated in metazoans or multicellular organisms of the animal kingdom hundreds of millions of years ago; the figure is over 99% for those genes whose origin predates the emergence of primates 50 million years ago.

"Our figures indicate that the differences between humans and primates at the level of genes and proteins are very small," say the researchers. David Juan, author and researcher in the Valencia lab, says that "the number of new genes that separate humans from mice [those genes that have evolved since the split from primates] may even be fewer than ten." This contrasts with the more than 500 human genes with origins since primates that can be found in the current annotation. The researchers conclude: "The physiological and developmental differences between primates are likely to be caused by gene regulation rather than by differences in the basic functions of the proteins in question."

DOING MORE WITH LESS

The sources of human complexity lie more in how genes are used rather than on the number of genes, in the thousands of chemical changes that occur in proteins or in the control of the production of these proteins by non-coding regions of the genome, which comprise 90% of the entire genome and which have been described in the latest findings of the international ENCODE project, a Project in which the Valencia team participa
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Contact: Nuria Noriega
nnoriega@cnio.es
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)
Source:Eurekalert  

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A CNIO team reduces the size of the human genome to 19,000 genes
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