Navigation Links
Major international study challenges notions of how genes are controlled in mammals

This release is available in French.

Scientists at the Omics Science Center (OSC) of the RIKEN Yokohama Institute in Japan along with researchers from McGill University and other institutions worldwide are challenging current notions of how genes are controlled in mammals. Three years of intensive research by members of the international FANTOM consortium will culminate with the publication of several milestone scientific papers in Nature Genetics and other journals on April 20.

FANTOM4, the fourth stage of the Functional Annotation of the Mammalian cDNA collaboration, is led by Dr. Yoshihide Hayashizaki of OSC. Dr. Jose Dostie, a biochemist at McGill's Faculty of Medicine joined the FANTOM4 collaboration in 2007 and is its only Canadian member.

For several years, FANTOM researchers have provided the scientific community with extensive data on the genome of mammals, including detailed information on molecular function, biology and individual cell components. Now, the FANTOM4 stage of the collaboration has culminated in a breakthrough that will alter the way scientists understand transcription, the process of cellular copying and reproduction.

"This study really challenges the way we understand cellular differentiation," explained Dr. Dostie, who participated in the primary FANTOM4 research and also authored a satellite paper for publication in the journal Genome Biology. "The dogma right now is that there are so-called 'master regulators,' a series of protein switches that sit in specific places on the genome and induce genes. This is supposed to lead to a cascade that leads to cellular differentiation.

"The FANTOM4 studies show that this thesis is incorrect and there are no master regulators at all," she continued. "It's not like turning everything on like a switch. Instead, it looks like the expression of some genes needs to be decreased while others are increased in a more subtle, but coordinated way."

FANTOM4 is the first report of a large-scale gene network based on an experimental data-set and is likely to generate considerable excitement in the scientific community. The information is important for life science and medical researchers trying to uncover the processes by which cells undergo conversion or become cancerous. It is also related to controlling the growth and differentiation of stem cells and ensuring their safety for use in regenerative medicine.

"We are proud that we have created groundbreaking research in understanding more about how genes regulate cells at the molecular level and we want to acknowledge all consortium members for their great contribution to the research effort," said Dr. Harukazu Suzuki, scientific co-ordinator of the FANTOM4 consortium.


Contact: Mark Shainblum
McGill University

Related biology news :

1. Major aspergillus genomics supplement published by journal Fungal Genetics and Biology
2. Source of major health benefits in olive oil revealed
3. A missing enzyme conveys major heart protection in pre-clinical work
4. Major NSF grant boosts UNH research on hormonal genomics
5. Rising sea levels set to have major impacts around the world
6. Cellulosic biofuel technology will generate low-cost green fuel, says major study
7. La Jolla Institute signs exclusive license agreement with Medimmune on major asthma discovery
8. NJIT to host major biomedical engineering showcase and career fair
9. Major step for drug discovery and diagnostics
10. Forsyth scientist receives major grant to support rapid, accurate, affordable test for tuberculosis
11. Foretelling a major meltdown
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... 09, 2015 ... the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market ... --> ) has announced the ... Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... ( ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> ... by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal testing ... 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. The ... Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by 2022. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial ... points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media ... of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LOS ANGELES , Nov. 24, 2015 ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... Marban , Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to ... December 1, 2015 at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The ... York City . . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it has completed construction ... dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing specific to raw ... and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has formally announced that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: