Navigation Links
Scientists find 'redesigned hammer' that forged evolution of pregnancy in mammals
Date:9/18/2008

New Haven, Conn. Yale researchers have shown that the origin and evolution of the placenta and uterus in mammals is associated with evolutionary changes in a single regulatory protein, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Many past studies have shown that genes are regulated and altered by changes within their own structures. This is the first work suggesting that the evolution of transcription factors separate regulatory proteins may play an active role in the origin and evolution of structural innovations like the placenta and uterus," said senior author Gunter Wagner, the Alison Richard Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale.

Pregnancy is a biologically unusual situation where one organism lives and develops inside another that is genetically different. Ordinarily, the immune system identifies and destroys the dissimilar tissue as if it were a parasite. But in some early mammals, changes 'turned down' the immune system, allowing the developing embryo to grow and thrive unchallenged by the maternal immune response.

With the evolution of the uterus and placenta, it became possible for mammals to protect their growing young and to ensure they were not exposed to an unpredictable environment, like their egg-laying relatives. This study identified one of the genetic switches that tempered the immune system and allowed formation of the placenta and internal development of young.

By analyzing DNA from many species of mammals, including resurrecting genes from the extinct ancestors of mammals, the researchers found that a crucial regulatory link in the evolution of pregnancy involved the altered function of a transcription factor protein, HoxA-11.

The specific change they found in HoxA-11 is present in all known placental mammals from elephants, the most primitive lineage with a placenta, to humans but does not exist in marsupials, like opossums or wallabies, where there is a brief and rudimentary pregnancy followed by development of the offspring outside the mother, or in egg-laying mammals like the platypus.

The textbook story is that regulatory proteins, like HoxA-11, are ancient, universal and unchanging tools, and that new functions arise by using an existing tool from the gene regulatory 'toolbox' in a new or different place.

According to Yale graduate student Vincent Lynch, lead author of the study, "We are writing a different chapter. In this case the function of a major regulatory tool was altered it is like we found a redesigned hammer."


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists find 'redesigned hammer' that forged evolution of pregnancy in mammals
(Date:2/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Former 9/11 Commission border counsel ... Janice Kephart of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, ... Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign ... "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order ... essentially banned the travel ban, it is important that ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology ... $11.4 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual growth ... An overview of the global markets for synthetic biology. - ... for 2016, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... New York , February 7, 2017 ... as ID Global Solutions Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or ... management and electronic transaction processing services, is pleased to ... of the Company. Effective January 31, 2017, ... the Board of Directors, CEO and President.  An experienced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017  Aethlon Medical, Inc. ... note authored by its Chairman and CEO, Jim ... the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, Bill Gates ... could kill more people than nuclear weapons. Mr. Gates ... and U.K. intelligence agencies, that scientific terrorists have access ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... BEIJING, Feb. 23, 2017 China Biologic Products, Inc. ... integrated plasma-based biopharmaceutical company in China, today announced its financial ... Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights ... increased by 21.7% in RMB terms, or increased by 13.6% ... the same quarter of 2015. Gross profit ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Drug Discovery Services portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical ... reliable data to drive their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ROCHESTER, Minn. , Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a new product line of oncolytic vaccinia viruses ... Genelux Corporation as part of Genelux,s proprietary, vaccinia ... "We are excited to enter into a partnership ... time, selected oncolytic vaccinia viruses for use in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: