The study also provides new information about microRNAs, small non-coding RNA molecules that function to regulate gene expression.
"There has not been much research conducted on microRNAs in nonhuman primates, so we found this particularly important," said Worley.
A team led by Dr. Preethi Gunaratne, an associate professor of biology and biochemistry at the University of Houston and of pathology and a member of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor, and Dr. R. Alan Harris, an assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, found marmosets exhibit a significant number of differences in microRNAs and their gene targets compared with humans, with two large clusters potentially involved in reproduction.
The sequence lays the foundation for further biomedical research using marmosets, said Rogers. "Researchers may have been more reluctant to study the marmoset due to lack of basic information, but this genome sequence opens new avenues for future research relevant to various aspects of human health and disease."
Dr. Suzette Tardiff, professor of cellular and structural biology at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, a core scientist at the Southwest National Primate Research Center and an expert in marmoset biology and co-author on the paper, provided critical information regarding the biology of marmosets, and helped obtain samples for the sequence.
|Contact: Glenna Picton|
Baylor College of Medicine