Navigation Links
International team cracks mammalian gene control code
Date:4/20/2009

An international consortium of scientists, including researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), have probed further into the human genome than ever before.

They have discovered how genes are controlled in mammals, as well as the tiniest genetic element ever found.

Their discoveries will be published in three milestone papers in leading journal Nature Genetics.

The research was coordinated by the RIKEN Yokohama Omics Science Center in Japan as part of the FANTOM4 consortium, with researchers from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience playing major roles in two of the papers.

PhD student Ryan Taft led one paper, on which Professor John Mattick was the senior author, while Associate Professor Sean Grimmond was a senior author on another paper led by Dr Geoff Faulkner.

"FANTOM4 has shown that instead of having one or a few 'master regulator' genes that control growth and development, there is a sophisticated network of regulatory elements that subtly influence the ways in which genes are expressed in different cells in the body," Professor John Mattick said.

This information will be very useful to medical and biological researchers, according to Associate Professor Sean Grimmond.

"We can use it to discover how cells transform from rapidly-growing 'blank slate' cells to mature cells with a specific function. This knowledge will help us determine, for example, why some cells turn cancerous, or how to control stem cells for use in regenerative medicine."

One of the papers describes the discovery of tiny RNAs, the smallest genetic elements yet known, which are linked to the expression of individual genes. Tiny RNAs are 18 nucleotides long, 100 times smaller than an average gene.

"Researchers had previously noticed small lengths of RNA in the genome, but thought that they were degraded segments of larger genetic elements," Mr Taft said.

"We found that they were too common and too specifically distributed to be rubbish. They are widely associated with promoters that switch on genes, and we believe they may have a role in gene activation. Once we understand their role more explicitly, we hope to use tiny RNAs to artificially control gene expression."

RNA is a molecule similar to DNA that translates the genetic information in DNA into proteins, or as in the case of tiny RNAs, can regulate longer RNA molecules before they are translated to proteins.

Another paper investigated retrotransposons, genetic elements that move around the genome and leave copies of themselves behind.

"The dogma in the field is that retrotransposons are only active in cancer cells and cells that turn into eggs and sperm," Dr Faulkner said. "Our results showed that retrotransposons that can no longer move around the genome may still be expressed in a broad range of cells, and thereby regulate the expression of nearby genes."

This is the fourth incarnation of the FANTOM consortium, which seeks to discover more about the workings of mammalian genomes through large-scale "systems biology" approaches.

Professor Mattick said that it had been a "privilege to be part of this consortium".

"It is another example of the wonderful and productive collaboration we have enjoyed with Japan over recent years," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bronwyn Adams
b.adams@imb.uq.edu.au
61-733-462-134
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. V. Craig Jordan, Internationally Renowned Breast Cancer Scientist, Joins Georgetowns Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
2. MMR Information Systems, Inc. Announces 250,000 Membership Milestone and Granting of International Patents
3. PRA International to Present Key Challenges for Safety Professionals at the World Drug Safety Congress: PRA Experts discussing REMS at Washington DC Conference
4. VirtualScopics Scientists to Present at International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 17th Scientific Meeting and Exhibition
5. Medical International Technology Inc. "MIT" announces a minimum of 6 million dollars exclusive agreement for a period of 5 years with a Malaysian Distributor for its Med-Jet(R) Needle-Free Jet-Injector
6. Frost & Sullivan and International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) Present a Webinar on the Economy: Personal Protective Equipment Industry - Immune to Global Slowdown?
7. Inteck, Inc. has been Selected to Conduct Two Presentations at the 2009 International MUSE Conference
8. China YCT International (OTCBB: CYIG) Strengthens Corporate Governance With Establishment of Audit Committee and Appointments of Three New Independent Directors
9. New Health and Travel Blog Launches to Raise Awareness of International Travel Issues and Trends
10. International Travelers Can Say Good-Bye to Montezumas Revenge With Launch of Travelan(R) in the U.S. From Alaven Consumer Healthcare
11. Stemedica Expands Globally With International Headquarters In Switzerland
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating ... Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to ... correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ... , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of ... Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dublin ... addition of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy ... This report focuses on the ... review, including its applications in various applications. The report ... includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market ... the report includes the following: , World ... Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  MedSource announced today that it has selected ... of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment ... clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture ... as the EDC platform of choice in exchange ... has long been a preferred EDC platform by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: