Navigation Links
Rewiring of gene regulation across 300 million years of evolution
Date:4/9/2010

As published today in Science, researchers from Cambridge, Glasgow and Greece have discovered a remarkable amount of plasticity in how transcription factors, the proteins that bind to DNA to control the activation of genes, maintain their function over large evolutionary distances.

The text books tell us that transcription factors recognise the genes that they regulate by binding to short, sequence-specific lengths of DNA upstream or downstream of their target genes. It was widely assumed that, like the sequences of the genes themselves, these transcription factor binding sites would be highly conserved throughout evolution. However, this turns out not to be the case in mammals.

The authors traced the evolution of gene regulation by comparing the binding of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors in the genomes of five vertebrate species human, dog, mouse, short-tailed opossum and chicken spanning 300 million years.

In all tested species, the transcription factors CEBPA and HNF4A are master regulators of liver-specific genes. By mapping the binding of CEBPA and HNF4A in the genomes of each species and comparing those maps, they found that in most cases neither the site nor the sequence of the transcription factor binding sites is conserved, yet despite this, these transcription factors still manage to regulate the largely conserved gene expression and function of liver tissue.

Paul Flicek, leader of the Vertebrate Genomics Team at EMBL-EBI, an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, and coauthor on the paper said "The evolutionary changes in transcription factor binding in the five species have left clues that we can use to explain how function is preserved but not necessarily sequence. What we have learnt is that although the transcription factors regulate similar target genes in all five species, the binding events underpinning this regulation have not been conserved as the species diverged."

"By studying changes in transcription factor binding, we can understand the evolution of gene regulation," said Duncan Odom from Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute and coauthor on the paper. He continued: "Differences in gene regulation are central to explaining differences between species, and gene misregulation is a key causative factor in diseases like cancer."

The results reveal that sequence conservation is not the whole story when it comes to maintaining tissue-specific gene regulation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Katrina Pavelin
contactpress@ebi.ac.uk
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gene regulation, not just genes, is what sets humans apart
2. Evolution is driven by gene regulation
3. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
4. Scientists find clue to mechanisms of gene signaling and regulation
5. Gene regulation in humans is closer than expected to simple organisms
6. The importance of gene regulation for common human disease
7. Einstein researcher receives NIH grant to explore epigenetic regulation of the human genome
8. Regulation of TATA-less promoters
9. Mechanism for regulation of growth and differentiation of adult muscle stem cells is revealed
10. Physician-scientist urges improved drug regulation to ensure heart safety of non-heart drugs
11. Stanford researchers publish review of US medical device regulation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... Feb. 1, 2016  Today, the first day of ... plans to develop a first of its kind workplace ... IBM Watson. In the first application of ... IBM ), and Welltok will create a new ... with cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. ...
(Date:1/25/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today announced ... International Airport, New York City , to help ... to enter the United States using passports ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. The ... during January 2016. --> pilot testing of the ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... --> ... report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology (Bio-Sensors, NLP, ... Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application Areas, End ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion Detection and ... Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 31.9%, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 - New FDA action date of ... FDA action date of July 22, 2016   ... 22, 2016   - Lifitegrast has ... indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye ... potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... Digital Forensics Club, takes place February 5-6 at the University’s student center, ... and activities such as workshops and competitions for ample networking, learning and ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Columbia and MENLO PARK, Calif. ... (OTCQX: DMPI) ("DelMar" and the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused ... announced that it will present at the 18 th ... February 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. EST in ... , DelMar,s president and CEO, will provide an update on ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual property development ... property, today provided an update on the Company,s cases ... Texas and announcing that those ... Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and Uniden filed ... on only certain claims of two of the patents ...
Breaking Biology Technology: