Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Wired for Change

Published: Monday, August 05, 2013
Last Updated: Sunday, August 04, 2013
Bookmark and Share
First steps of gene regulation evolution revealed.

A study of gene expression led by scientists at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the University of Cambridge has revealed the first steps of evolution in gene regulation in mice.

Published in the journal Cell, the research has implications for the study of differences in gene regulation between people.

“We found an impressive amount of variation between these apparently very similar mice in terms of transcription-factor binding, which is an important indicator of gene-regulation activity,” says Paul Flicek of EMBL-EBI.

Flicek continued, “Often you’ll see a specific combination of these transcription factors acting in concert - and it was fascinating for us to see just how important these combinations are. They’re much more likely to be conserved over the course of evolution than whatever DNA sequence they might be binding to.”

The team studied gene expression in five very closely related mouse species in order to pinpoint changes at the very earliest stages of evolution.

To do this, they compared the way that three transcription factors (TFs) bind to genes to control if they’re turned on or off in liver cells in the different mouse species.

“By looking at mice that are very closely related to each other, we were able to capture a snapshot of what regulatory evolution is happening,” explains Duncan Odom of the University of Cambridge. “That’s important because it’s much harder to see how something has evolved when you don’t have a clear picture of the starting point.”

Say users wanted to know how an orange tree evolved, but they could only compare it to an elm or oak. They’d have greater insight into how an orange tree evolved if they could compare it to much more closely related plants like grapefruit and lemons, which could give insight into how each came from an ancestral citrus plant.

In this study, instead of comparing leaf and fruit shapes, the team looked at gene regulation in mice that had only recently diverged from one another.

They demonstrated that TFs work in clusters that are conserved in order to ensure genetic and evolutionary stability.

The researchers contrasted their findings with gene-regulation data from another model organism, Drosophila, to see where the similarities lay.

They found that there were a lot more differences between closely related mouse strains than there are between distantly related fruit-fly strains.

“Mammals have lots of DNA kicking around that doesn’t code for proteins, while fruit flies have relatively little. So a mouse’s regulatory wiring will just have a lot more wiggle room than a fruit fly’s,” says Paul. “That gives us a clearer picture of what we can expect to learn about mammalian genetic regulation from fruit flies.”

The study could help scientists understand how gene regulation differs from one person to the next, explaining why genes that cause disease in some people don’t have that effect in others.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Drugging Bacteria
Commonly used diabetes drug impacts gut bacteria more than disease itself.
Saturday, December 05, 2015
Finding Links and Missing Genes
A catalogue of large-scale genetic changes around the world.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Ages Apart
Multifaceted approach measured how brain and liver age differently.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Iron Regulators Join War on Pathogens
Iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) play an important role in the body’s immune system.
Friday, July 17, 2015
EMBL Scientists Solve Decades-Old Cell Biology Puzzle
Behaviour of clathrin proteins, crucial for endocytosis, is clarified using new imaging techniques.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
It Runs in the Family
Distantly related viruses share a common machinery for replication.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
The Battle for Iron
Understanding anaemias of the chronically ill.
Saturday, February 07, 2015
Protecting us from Our Cells
Growth factor boosts natural defence against auto-immune disorders.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Double Act: How a Single Molecule Can Attract and Repel Growing Brain Connections
The 3D structure of Netrin-1 bound to DCC shows Netrin-1 binds to two DCC molecules in different ways.
Saturday, August 09, 2014
Cancer by Remote-Control
Overlooked DNA shuffling drives deadly paediatric brain tumour.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
More than Meets the Eye
‘Transformer’ protein makes different sized transport pods.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Rigged to Explode?
Inherited mutation links exploding chromosomes to cancer.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Multi-tasking Protein Provides New Approaches for Anti-tuberculosis Drugs
Scientists from EMBL reveal new insights into the workings of enzymes from a group of bacteria including Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Human Genome’s Breaking Points
Comprehensive catalogue uncovers genetic sequence of large-scale differences between human genomes.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
EMBL Scientists Uncover Counterpart of Cerebral Cortex in Marine Worms
Findings give an idea of what the most ancient higher brain centres looked like, and what our distant ancestors used them for.
Friday, September 03, 2010
Scientific News
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy
Institute has identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibratory urticaria.
Battery Component Found to Harm Key Soil Microorganism
The material at the heart of the lithium ion batteries that power electric vehicles, laptop computers and smartphones has been shown to impair a key soil bacterium, according to new research.
Keeping Tumor Growth at Bay
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis found a way to keep a cancerous tumor from growing by using nanoparticles of the main ingredient in common antacid tablets.
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Mitochondria Shown to Trigger Cell Ageing
An international team of scientists has for the first time shown that mitochondria, the batteries of the cells, are essential for ageing.
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Validating the Accuracy of CRISPR-Cas9
IBS Researchers create multiplex Digenome-seq to find errors in CRISPR-Cas9 processes.
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Genetic Mechanism Behind Cancer-Causing Mutations
Researchers at Indiana University has identified a genetic mechanism that is likely to drive mutations that can lead to cancer.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!