Navigation Links
CIHR news: U of S scientists find plant gene that affects stress resistance
Date:1/25/2008

A University of Saskatchewan team of scientists has isolated a gene that has never before been identified in helping plants to resist stress.

The studypublished this month in the top-ranked plant journal The Plant Cellcould pave the way for development of agricultural and forestry crops that are more tolerant to environmental stresses such as ultra-violet light and other types of radiation.

Our next step is to see if plant genes weve isolated also play a similar role in fighting infections, said U of S microbiologist Wei Xiao. In previous research, our team and others have shown that similar genes in human and animal cells play an important role in protection against both viral and bacterial infections.

In an unusual collaboration, Xiao teamed up with U of S biochemist Hong Wang, two post-doctoral fellows and three graduate students on the study. Doctoral student Rui Wen is the lead author on the paper.

Using Arabidopsis, a widely accepted research model plant closely related to canola, the team cloned and characterized four genes suspected of playing a role in the plants stress responses. The team found that when plants were subjected to a DNA-damaging stressor, the plants in which one of the four genes had been turned off produced seedlings that grew slower and often died, compared with a control group.

This tells us that these genes likely play an important role in maintaining the genetic stability of the plant and protecting the plant from stress, said Xiao.

The next step is to look at whether turning on or off any of the other three genes will affect the plants resistance to environmental stresses, including viral and bacterial infections.

Xiaos previous research used cultured mammalian cells to study cancer and immunity. But since deletion of genes in living mammals would cause the embryos to die, the team turned to the plant model.

This study demonstrates for the first time that we can study this group of genes at the whole organism level, rather than just at the cellular level, which could have applications down the road for human and animal medicine in fighting cancer and infections, said Xiao, noting that plant, animal and human studies are increasingly converging around gene-based research.

In previous research using human cells, Xiao found that human genes similar to the four plant genes not only fight carcinogens but play a role in fighting viral and bacterial infections.

There are actually two closely related genes involvedone fighting against infections and the other against cancer, said Xiao. The two genesBeauty and the Beastcomplement each other when they work together, but if Beast is constantly being expressed to stimulate cells to uncontrollably reproduce, this situation can lead to cancer.

Xiaos discovery of the Beauty and Beast genes that may govern the development of cancer is cited in Milestones in Canadian Health Research: http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/35216.html

Ten years ago, Xiao discovered a gene in bakers yeast that when inactivated causes cells to be more susceptible to DNA-damaging agents. His team then identified two similar human genes and found that when either of these was put into the yeast cells containing the inactivated gene, the problem was soon fixed and the cells grew normally.

The plant gene products under study by Xiao and Wang bind with a protein (Ubc13) which has recently been found to control activation of the immune response. This protein has also been linked to an increasing number of human diseases, including Parkinsons and breast cancer.

Long term, the teams goal is to develop screening tests for humans and animals that could detect a cancer-causing imbalance, allowing earlier treatment and prevention. Diagnostic antibodies suitable for such tests have been developed by Xiao and his U of S colleagues and have been licensed to California-based Zymed Laboratories, Inc., and Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathryn Warden
kathryn.warden@usask.ca
306-966-2506
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
2. Scientists Probe Sepsis Deadly Secrets
3. Scientists puzzled by severe allergic reaction to cancer drug in the middle Southern US
4. Scientists Develop Natural Protection for Stored Foods
5. Scientists detect presence of marburg virus in african fruit bats
6. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
7. Scientists ID Likely Culprit in Popcorn Lung
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
10. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
11. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society™ and Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) will ... time saving and planning tools to attendees and exhibitors for the 2016 WOCN ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Charles, LA (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... Charles, LA area has teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana ... now being accepted here . , Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Washington Wellness Center today announced its tenth anniversary ... What started out as an idea to provide a holistic approach to wellness ... , Developed by Dr. David Swanekamp, Chiropractic Physician , the wellness center offers ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... 2016. SS&A teamed up with one of the top website design companies to ... contains informative legal articles related to the law firm's main practice areas. These ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Momsense, ... nursing mothers. The company’s patented technology, The Smart Breastfeeding Meter, is designed to ... that the technology is now available for purchase at Target.com . ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... YORK , May 4, 2016 ... Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022 - Industry ... User (Hospital, Diagnostic Center and Others)" by P&S Market Research, ... $4,894.3 million in 2015, and it is expected to grow ... type, the high slice type segment is expected to witness ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016 In March, ... series of free workshops across Africa ... requirements for Good Distribution Practices (GDP). Good Distribution ... that products are consistently stored, transported and handled under ... or product specification. Only a few years ago, there ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Multiple Myeloma Market ... to their offering.       (Logo: ... Myeloma Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, ... products, Multiple Myeloma epidemiology, Multiple Myeloma market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: