Navigation Links
Gene regulation in humans is closer than expected to simple organisms

Gene networks are some of the most basic features of a living organism. An external or internal stimulus activates some genes, which in turn control others genes whose activity turns on or off various biological processes (such as the cell cycle, energy production, DNA repair, cellular suicide etc). Many of the regulatory functions are controlled by attachment of special proteins (transcription factors) to 6 - 10 nucleotide long binding sequences located on the DNA, activating or suppressing expression of the regulated gene. Our ability to identify these binding sites is essential to understand the way biological networks operate.

As the genomes of various organisms became known, it turned out that complex and simple organisms differ less than anticipated in the sizes and makeup of their genomes; complexity of an organism is now believed to be reflected mainly in the manner in which expression is regulated. According to consensus, transcription of human genes is regulated predominantly by factors that bind to sites whose distances from the transcription start site may vary widely and reach tens of thousands of base pairs.

To test the validity of this belief/consensus, researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have performed a genome-wide study of functional human transcription factor binding sites that encompasses nearly ten thousand genes and four hundred known binding motifs. Using a novel method that was developed to identify reliably functional binding motifs, they discovered that in human (and mouse) a surprisingly large fraction of the functional binding sites was concentrated very close to the transcription start site. Hence on the basis of currently available data it seems that the most basic underlying principles and strategies used by the genomes of higher organisms to regulate gene expression are quite close to those used by simple organisms like bacteria and yeast.

The discovery and the method will allow more focused and reliable search for transcriptional binding sites and hence may turn into a major tool to be used in the quest for the transcriptional networks whose function governs all cellular processes, and whose breakdown causes complex diseases. It will generate progress in establishing the design principles used by the transcription process in high organism, and allow a more focused search for the origins of their complexity.

Contact: Eytan Domany
Public Library of Science

Related biology news :

1. New insight into regulation of blood stem cells
2. NYU, Rockefeller researchers find complexity of regulation by microRNA genes
3. MicroRNAs play a big part in gene regulation - and evolution
4. UCR chemist part of team identifying new areas of gene regulation
5. Bioinformatics reveals new gene regulation system
6. Researchers appeal for new regulations to save coral reefs from live fish trade
7. Novel enzyme offers new look at gene regulation
8. Researchers discover new form of cancer gene regulation
9. K-State researchers study gene regulation in insects
10. Most human-chimp differences due to gene regulation ?not genes
11. Cells use mix-and-match approach to tailor regulation of genes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... ARBOR, Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Eurofins Genomics for U.S. distribution of its DNA ... DNA-seq kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ... to enable the preparation of NGS libraries for ... plasma for diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 In the present ... of concern for various industry verticals such as banking, ... to the growing demand for secure & simplified access ... ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of ... equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, 2015 ... an innovator in modern authentication and a founding member ... launch of its latest version of the Nok Nok™ ... to use standards-based authentication that supports existing and emerging ... Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 HemoShear Therapeutics, ... discovering drugs for metabolic disorders, announced today the ... its Board of Directors (BOD). Mr. Watkins is ... Human Genome Sciences (HGS), and also served as ... Jim Powers , Chairman and CEO of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 , ... in a European healthcare ... the companies will work closely together in identifying European breakthrough ... medical need. The collaboration is underpinned by a significant investment ... This is the first investment by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... According to two new studies, fewer men are ... that many doctors, scientists, and public health experts have been ... PSA tests being done, will there be more men dying ... Samadi, "Despite the efforts made in regards to early ... cancer cause of death in men, killing approximately 27,500 men ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 23, 2015   Ceres, ... company, announced today financial results for the fiscal year ... its business. --> --> ... on commercializing forage and feed products with a better ... the company signed distribution agreements with several leading crop ...
Breaking Biology Technology: