Navigation Links
UCSB study reveals evolution at work
Date:2/27/2014

New research by UC Santa Barbara's Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor of Neuroscience, reveals some very unique evolutionary innovations in the primate brain.

In a study published online today in the journal Neuron, Kosik and colleagues describe the role of microRNAs so named because they contain only 22 nucleotides in a portion of the brain called the outer subventricular zone (OSVZ). These microRNAs belong to a special category of noncoding genes, which prevent the formation of proteins.

"It's microRNAs that provide the wiring diagram, dictating which genes are turned on, when they're turned on and where they're turned on," said Kosik, who is also the co-director of UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute and a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. "There's a core set with which all kinds of really complex things can be built, and these noncoding genes know how to put it together."

The researchers were looking for these noncoding genes, Kosik continued, because as organisms become more complex through evolution, the number of these noncoding genes has greatly expanded. "But the coding genes the ones that make proteins have really not changed very much," he said. "The action has been in this noncoding area and what that part of the genome is doing is controlling the genes."

Many of the microRNAs that Kosik's team found and subsequently sequenced are newly evolved in primates. The work showed that these tiny control elements were overrepresented in the OSVZ of the developing macaque brain tissues they analyzed. The tissue samples were provided by a lab at the Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute near Lyon, France, headed by research director and co-author Colette Dehay.

Study results indicate that the appearance of the OSVZ is very much associated with the invention of new microRNAs. "There might be some relationship although we can't prove it between the invention of some of these new noncoding genes, microRNAs, and the appearance of a new structure, the OSVZ," Kosik said. "Trying to connect an anatomical, morphological invention with genes is very difficult, but our work shows a possible molecular basis for the tools that were needed to build this novel structure."

The analysis found that these new microRNAs target old genes, many involved in the cell cycle, which is responsible for cell division (mitosis). "Nearly all cells throughout evolution have a cell cycle," Kosik explained. "We can watch the evolutionary process at a very molecular level, see what is novel and how molecular innovation affects what already exists, like the cell cycle. When new things are invented in evolution, they have to be integrated with what already exists.

"What I find fascinating is that the whole ancient cellular mechanism of cell division still has enough evolutionary space left to make something new and to make something new that's really complex," he added. "The OSVZ gave rise to primates' expanded brains and to the cells that ultimately brought us Shakespeare."

According to Kosik, the microRNAs he studied are a melding of molecular and anatomical information. "Some of the genes we found that are the targets of these new microRNAs are also involved in certain human developmental disorders that are genetic," he said.

"One place we would like to go with this information is to explore pathways that may be manipulated to help patients in some way," he said. "We know people with developmental disorders may be missing a critical gene involved in brain formation and wiring, so maybe if we understood the control of those genes as these new data are pointing to we might be able to do something that could be applied to a human condition."


'/>"/>
Contact: Julie Cohen
julie.cohen@ucsb.edu
805-893-7220
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Study reveals mechanisms cancer cells use to establish metastatic brain tumors
2. New study looks at biomarkers in assessing pitch counts bearing on injury
3. Study shows why breastfed babies are so smart
4. New study presents evidence that blood pressure should be measured in both arms
5. Study shows mentally ill more likely to be victims, not perpetrators, of violence
6. Study shows preventive ovarian surgery in BRCA1 mutation carriers should be performed early
7. Study finds differences in benefits, service at hospices based on tax status
8. Study shows that premature infants benefit from adult talk
9. Study in fruitflies strengthens connection among protein misfolding, sleep loss, and age
10. Study shows gaps in inpatient psychiatry for Ontario youth
11. Bevacizumab offers no benefit for newly diagnosed glioblastoma, MD Anderson-led study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UCSB study reveals evolution at work
(Date:4/29/2017)... ... 29, 2017 , ... Sterling Global Products is pleased to ... biodegradable, hanging flushable wipes dispensers and/or 42 count refill packs manufactured by this ... Texas, operates more than 350 stores throughout Texas and expanding into northern Mexico ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The National Campaign to ... the Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2017. The ... will help to ensure that all members of the Armed Forces receive high ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Beginning in 2017, Ridgecrest Herbals ... This begins with the popular ClearLungs Extra Strength formula. To ensure that the effectiveness ... in the following ways:, , Removal of the homeopathic element ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Date aired: April ... “Computers are everywhere and they’re here to stay,” said Sharon Kleyne on her ... Your Health on Voice America sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®. So she was ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Children and adolescents who enter the foster ... in the general population. That’s because foster care is designed to protect children ... no fault of their own, youth who have experienced trauma often have difficulty ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies and ... ... valued at US$ 7,167.6 Mn in 2015, and is expected ... CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2024. ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Cardiology devices segment is anticipated to reach the ... Cardiology Devices segment is likely to create absolute $ opportunity ... over 2017. By the end of 2027, Cardiology Devices segment ... 700 Mn, expanding at a CAGR of 18.4% over the ... Asia Pacific reprocessed medical devices market in terms ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... DALLAS , April 19, 2017  Vanderbilt ... the first patients in Nashville , ... the Lower Esophageal Sphincter Stimulation for GERD (LESS GERD) ... designed to provide long-term reflux control by restoring normal ... affects nearly 65 million people in the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: