Navigation Links
New research on mutation in yeast can enhance understanding of human diseases
Date:6/19/2008

DURHAM, N.H. Yeast, a model organism heavily relied upon for studying basic biological processes as they relate to human health, mutates in a distinctly different pattern than other model organisms, a finding that brings researchers closer to understanding the role of evolutionary genetics in human diseases and cancer. The study, by researchers from the University of New Hampshire, Indiana University, Harvard University, and the University of Utah, appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) Online Early Edition this week (June 16 20, 2008).

"In biology, the mutation is an absolutely fundamental process, essential to evolution but also the source of all genetic disease," says Kelley Thomas, associate professor of biochemistry and director of the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies at the University of New Hampshire. "Despite its importance, we still don't know much about the basic processes of mutation." Cancers are caused by mutations, as are inherited diseases like Huntington's disease and fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation.

"If we know more about the patterns of mutation, we'd be able to better understand the origins of these diseases and maybe prevent them," says Thomas.

The researchers asked a fundamental question: "What is the baseline rate and spectrum of mutation in yeast?" They found that, like the previously studied mutations in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae had a very high rate of mutation from generation to generation.

Its patterns of mutation, however, turned out to be unique. While C. elegans mutations were largely the result of inserting or deleting base pairs of DNA, yeast's patterns of mutation were characterized by changing one base pair for another. "That was really surprising, that we didn't find that adding or subtracting in yeast," says Thomas. He adds that the consequences of inserting and deleting base pairs can be much more dramatic than substituting one base pair for another.

Comparing the mutation rates and spectrums of these two model organisms informs researchers' assumptions about mutation relevant to human health. "We were surprised that there isn't a common spectrum of mutation," says Thomas. "However, it's exciting, because if we can describe patterns of mutation, maybe we can understand why some organisms, including people, are susceptible to certain mutations and not others."

The approach used in this study allows yeast to accumulate mutations in the near absence of natural selection. By doing this, cells with mutations that might otherwise be lost because their cell is outgrown by others can continue to survive and be analyzed for their mutations. With this study, Thomas and his colleagues overcome a major limitation to the study of mutation by using a new generation of sequencing technology that let them sequence the entire genome of each yeast strain and to identify the rare mutational events that have taken place. This way, the yeast accumulate mutations that might otherwise make them "bad yeast" the weak survive and look for them across the entire 10 million base pair genome.

"The beer you make with this yeast is horrible," Thomas jokes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth Potier
beth.potier@unh.edu
603-862-1566
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. China Sky One Medical, Inc. Research Center Recognized by Heilongjiang Science and Technology Institute
2. Science, hope for adults with type 1 diabetes focus of JDRFs Annual Global Diabetes Research Forum
3. Minister Clement, Governor Schwarzenegger Join Forces to Fight Cancer Through Cancer Stem Cell Research
4. Report: NIH and Global Health Research are a Major Boon to All State Economies
5. UF scientists to work with German firm in prostate cancer treatment research
6. Psychosocial issues affect HIV/AIDS treatment outcomes: UNC researcher
7. $100 million supercomputing program boosts Australian medical research capacity
8. Penn researchers find key developmental pathway activates lung stem cells
9. Singapore Is One of the Fastest Growing Bioclusters in Asia; Wave of Investments in Drug Discovery and Translational Research
10. CafePress Supports Stand Up To Cancer With Online Store to Help Raise Awareness and Funds for Research
11. Hebrew University research on octopuses sheds light on memory
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Frederick, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... Mid-Atlantic Angels is actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital ... support over the past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... NAMUR , Belgium , ...  (NYSE MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of ... Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective ... the Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance ... Board, Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any dentist ... many challenges of the current process. Many of them do ... of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And ... to offer it at such a high cost that the ... it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... up to date financial data derived from varied research sources ... with potential impact on the market during the next five ... comprises of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: