Navigation Links
Evolution with a restricted number of genes
Date:12/14/2007

The development of higher forms of life would appear to have been influenced by RNA polymerase II. This enzyme transcribes the information coded by genes from DNA into messenger-RNA (mRNA), which in turn is the basis for the production of proteins. RNA polymerase II is highly conserved through evolution, with many of its structural characteristics being conserved between bacteria and humans.

Single-cell organisms were already in existence 500 million years ago, with several thousand genes providing different cellular functions. Further developments seemed dependent on producing even more genes. For a highly developed organism like a human, this form of evolution would have resulted in several million genes. Researchers were therefore surprised to learn, following publication of the human genome, that a human only has around 25,000 genes not many more than a fruit fly or a worm with approximately 15,000 to 20,000 genes. It would appear that, over the last 500 million years, other ways to produce highly complex organisms have evolved. Evolution has simply found more efficient ways to use the genes already there. But what could have made this possible"

In the current issue of Science the group of Prof. Dirk Eick at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology and Tumor Genetics, GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Munich, and the group of Dr. Shona Murphy from Oxford University, England, publish results which represent a piece of the puzzle and shed new light on to the purpose of an unusual structure in RNA polymerase II. They build on earlier observations that gene expression is not just regulated by binding of the enzyme to the gene locus to which it is recruited, but also during the phase of active transcription from DNA into RNA. During this phase, parts of the newly synthesised RNA may be removed and the remaining sequences combined into new RNA message. This splicing of RNA occurs during gene transcription, and in extreme cases, can produce RNAs coding for several thousand different proteins from a single gene.

But what was the development that permitted this advance in gene usage" The RNA polymerase II has developed a structure composed of repeats of a 7 amino-acid sequence. In humans this structure termed carboxyterminal domain or CTD is composed of 52 such repeats. It is placed exactly at the position where RNA emerges from RNA polymerase II. In less complex organisms the CTD is much shorter: a worm has 36 repeats, and yeast as few as 26, but many single-cell organisms and bacteria have never developed an obvious CTD structure.

Although the requirement of CTD for the expression of cellular genes in higher organisms is undisputed, the molecular details for the gene-specific maturation of RNAs is still largely enigmatic. The groups of Dirk Eick and Shona Murphy have now shown a differential requirement for phosphorylation of the amino acid serine at position 7 of CTD in the processing and maturation of specific gene products. These results provide the groundwork for the discovery of further pieces of the CTD puzzle and thus enlarge our knowledge of gene regulation. Given its fundamental importance, understanding the mechanism of gene regulation is essential if we are to understand cancer and other diseases at the molecular level and develop new therapies.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Dr. Dirk Eick
eick@gsf.de
49-089-709-9512
GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Evolution is driven by gene regulation
2. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
3. Adaptation to parasites drive African fishes along different evolutionary paths
4. Uncertainty drives the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds
5. Structure of 450 million year old protein reveals evolutions steps
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
8. Migrating squid drove evolution of sonar in whales and dolphins, researchers argue
9. Old developmental pathways spawn revolutionary evolutionary changes
10. Systems Biology poised to revolutionize the understanding of cell function and disease
11. Using evolution, UW team creates a template for many new therapeutic agents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/26/2017)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and ... corrections and monitoring, announces the appointment of a ... often, too many offenders return to jail or ... to tackle this ongoing problem and improve the ... significant steps are underway, Securus continues to invest ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... N.Y. and PORTLAND, Ore. ... ) and the Avamere Family of Companies (Avamere Health ... today announced a six-month research study that will apply ... improve eldercare at senior living and health centers. By ... Avamere hopes to gain insights into physical and environmental ...
(Date:2/14/2017)... N.C. , Feb. 14, 2017  Wake Forest ... M.D., as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Freischlag ... CEO John D. McConnell , M.D., who last ... position at the Medical Center, after leading it since ... the full scope of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , March 22, 2017 ... Council (MassMEDIC) are proud to announce their extended partnership ... Week will be headlined by the 21 st ... UBM,s BIOMEDevice Boston, taking place May 3-4, 2017. ... with Advanced Medical Technology Association (ADVAMED) President and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... The traditional ways to ... as of late due to the rise of the opioid ... dramatic impact on patient,s quality of life as Biotech and ... new forms of opioid formulations that prevent abuse. Biotech and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Freeport, Grand Bahama (PRWEB) , ... March 21, 2017 , ... ... a free educational seminar as part of their live events series, “Stem Cell Therapy: ... adult stem cell facility under the 2013 Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... ... has unveiled its innovative Quantum peristaltic pump with patented ReNu single-use (SU) ... the new standard for high-pressure feed pumps in SU tangential flow filtration ...
Breaking Biology Technology: