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Variable gene expression in zebrafish
Date:4/28/2014

ntral archive for fish cultivation and dissemination and screening center. In genetics, the zebrafish is considered an im-portant model organism for studies of vertebrates. Using the CAGE (Cap Analysis of Gene Expression) high-throughput method, the scientists determined the starting points of transcription of many thousands of genes in various phases of embryonic development of zebrafish.

Comparison of the data revealed that use of certain starting points differs in two phases of embryonic development in particular: Before and after activation of the embryonic genome. "Prior to activation, the growing embryo uses transcripts deposited by the mother in the egg for the production of proteins," explains Dr. Marco Ferg, ITG. "The genome of the mother acts as a matrix or complementary template. After activation of the embryonic genome, the transcripts are newly produced. Then, the genome of the embryo serves as a matrix." With the help of so-called next-generation sequencing methods for decoding unknown DNA sequences at high throughputs, the ITG researchers were the first to find out that various transcription mechanisms exist in various development phases.

Further studies are needed to determine whether the specific use of transcription starting points is a widely disseminated mechanism for gene regulation. "If this is the case, it might be possible to control transcription and to specifically counteract diseases like cancer, which are caused by defective transcription," Marco Ferg says. "However, we are still in the phase of fundamental research."


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Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Karlsruher Institut fr Technologie (KIT)
Source:Eurekalert  

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Variable gene expression in zebrafish
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