When new species evolve, they leave genetic evidence behind in the form of “breakpoint regions.” These regions are sites on the genome where chromosomes broke during speciation (when new species of dogs developed). Dr. Matthew Breen, professor of genomics at NC State, and graduate student Shannon Becker looked at the breakpoint regions that occurred when the canid (dog) species differentiated during evolution. They compared the genomes of several wild canine species with those of the domestic dog. By overlaying the genomes, they found shared breakpoints among 11 different canid species – the so-called evolutionary breakpoints.
“The interesting thing about the breakpoint areas in the canid chromosome is that they are the same regions that we have shown to be associated with chromosome breaks in spontaneously occurring cancers,” Breen says. “It is possible that the re-arrangement of chromosomes that occurred when these species diverged from one another created unstable regions on the chromosome, and that is why these regions are associated with cancer.”
The researchers’ results appear in Chromosome Research.
“As species evolve, genetic information encoded on chromosomes can be restructured – resulting in closely related species having differently organized genomes,” says Becker. “In some cases, species acquire extra chromosomes, called B chromosomes. We looked at these extra B chromosomes in three canid species and found that they harbor several cancer-associated genes. Our work adds to the growing evidence that there is an association between cancer-associated genomic instability and genomic rearrangement during speciation.”
“The presence of clusters of cancer- associated genes on canid B chromosomes suggests that while previously though to be inert, these chromosomes may have played a role in sequestering excess copies of such genes that were generated during speciation,” adds Breen. “We now need to determine whether these stored genes are active or inert – that information could give us new tools in cancer detection and treatment.”
The research was funded by the Morris Animal Foundation. The Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences is part of NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Tracey Peake | EurekAlert!
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences