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

Helping Genes Get Out of the Starting Blocks Faster

Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Yeast can quickly adapt to changes in its environment with the help of molecules known as long non-coding RNAs, a Purdue study shows.

Elizabeth Tran, assistant professor of biochemistry, and her fellow researchers found that long non-coding RNAs prepare metabolic genes to be activated swiftly when baker's yeast needs to switch its source of energy from glucose - its main sugar source - to an alternative sugar, galactose.

The study is the first to link long non-coding RNAs with the timing of gene expression.

"The fact that long non-coding RNAs are involved in the timing of gene expression was totally unexpected," Tran said. "This opens up new and exciting challenges for the future of genomic research."

Long non-coding RNAs - ribonucleic acids that are longer than 200 nucleotides - are molecules that influence the expression of protein-coding genes in yeast, plants and mammals. They were first described in 2007, and the functions of the vast majority of these molecules remain unknown.

One suggested role of long non-coding RNAs in yeast was gene repression, but Tran's study showed the opposite is true: Long non-coding RNAs accelerate the activation of genes involved in galactose digestion when glucose is lacking in the environment.

Yeast with long non-coding RNA begin metabolizing galactose about 30 minutes quicker than yeast without - a significant time difference in an organism that replicates every 90 minutes.

"That quick shift could make the difference in survival," Tran said.

Over time, the level of galactose enzyme gene expression in yeast with and without long non-coding RNAs becomes the same, but "it's that initial burst of gene expression in response to the environment that may provide a significant evolutionary advantage," said Tran. She likened it to the edge a sprinter would gain over his opponents by propelling himself out of the starting block ahead of them.

"One reason the runner Usain Bolt is so fast is that he developed a technique of getting out of the block really quickly," she said. "Being able to do that means you can spread out your energy during the race - all because you started faster at the beginning."

Tran said that similar long non-coding RNAs might play a role in the timing of gene expression in humans as well. In mammals, they are often associated with genes that control growth and organ development, which require tight control of initiation timing.

"When a growing embryo has to make an arm, for example, that timing has to be incredibly precise," she said.

Humans contain upwards of 8,000 long non-coding RNAs, some of which have been linked to cancer, developmental diseases and cardiomyopathy and other non-DNA mutations in the genome. Tran said the chances are high that long non-coding RNAs play a role in human diseases, developmental defects and delays.

"Now the question becomes why long non-coding RNAs are so closely associated with development," Tran said. "Having opened up the possibility that they're linked to timing and not end level of gene expression is really key."

The paper was published online in PLOS Biology and is available online.  


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 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,000+ 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

Electronic Sensor Tells Dead Bacteria From Live
The sensor, which measures 'osmoregulation', is a potential future tool for medicine and food safety.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
A Future Tool for Medicine, Food Safety
A new type of electronic sensor that might be used to quickly detect and classify bacteria for medical diagnostics and food safety has passed a key hurdle by distinguishing between dead and living bacteria cells.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
New Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers at Purdue University have shown how controlling cholesterol metabolism in pancreatic cancer cells reduces metastasis.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Improving Engineered T-Cell Cancer Treatment
Purdue University researchers may have figured out a way to call off a cancer cell assassin that sometimes goes rogue and assign it a larger tumor-specific "hit list."
Friday, April 22, 2016
Environmental Cleanup Tech Rids Oil from Water
A new technology that is easy to manufacture and uses commercially available materials makes it possible to continuously remove oils and other pollutants from water, representing a potential tool for environmental cleanup.
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Zika Virus Structure Revealed
Team at Purdue becomes the first to determine the structure of the Zika virus, which reveals insights critical to the development of effective antiviral treatments and vaccines.
Monday, April 04, 2016
Identifying Foodborne Pathogens
A Purdue University innovation that creates a "fingerprint-like pattern" to identify foodborne pathogens without using reagents has been licensed by Hettich Lab Technology.
Wednesday, March 02, 2016
'Lipidomics' Could Bring Fast Cancer Diagnosis
Researchers have developed a new analytical tool for medical applications and biological research that might be used to diagnose cancer more rapidly than conventional methods.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Remote-Controlled Drug Delivery
A team of researchers has created a new implantable drug-delivery system using nanowires that can be wirelessly controlled.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Microsecond Raman Imaging Might Probe Cells, Organs for Disease
An advanced medical diagnostic tool for the early detection of cancer and other diseases.
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Purdue-Based Firms Grow After Receiving Emerging Innovations Fund Investments
The Fund has helped to support new business ventures across a range of research areas.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Keck Foundation to Fund Purdue Research into Spectroscopic Imaging
Ji-Xin Cheng leads a Purdue team awarded a $1 million W.M. Keck Foundation grant to develop a new type of imaging technology for cell and tissue analysis that could bring advanced medical diagnostics.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Could Taint Swimming Pools
A new study suggests pharmaceuticals and chemicals from personal care products end up in swimming pools, possibly interacting with chlorine to produce disinfection byproducts with unknown properties and health effects.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Purdue Research Suggests Approach to Treat Virus Causing Respiratory Illness
Enterovirus D68 has stricken children with serious respiratory infections.
Monday, January 05, 2015
Drinking Water Odors, Chemicals Above Health Standards Caused by 'Green Building' Plumbing
Several types of plastic pipes in eco-friendly green buildings in the United States have been found to leach chemicals into drinking water that can cause odors and sometimes exist at levels that may exceed health standards.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Blood Pressure Drug May Boost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Treatment
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the blood pressure drug may make a type of lung cancer treatment more effective.
Insight into Eye Diseases
Scientists recreate zebrafish cell regeneration from retinal stem cells in mice.
New Discovery May Benefit Farmers Worldwide
Scientists have shown how a crop-microbe 'team' protect against fungal infection.
Antibodies Paving the Way to HIV Vaccine
Researchers uncover factors responsible for the formation of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies in humans.
Designing Drugs with a Whole New Toolbox
Researchers develop methods to design small, targeted proteins with shapes not found in nature.
Protein Studies Discover Molecular Secrets
Two protein studies have mapped proteins that reveal the secrets to recycling carbon and healing cells.
Tapping Evolution to Improve Biotech Products
Researchers show how 'ancestral sequence reconstruction' can be used to guide engineering of a blood clotting protein.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down

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
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!