Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Dark genome’ is involved in Rett Syndrome

03.05.2013
The disease is the second most common cause of mental retardation in women

Researchers at the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program at IDIBELL led by Manel Esteller, ICREA researcher and professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona, have described alterations in noncoding long chain RNA sequences (lncRNA) in Rett syndrome.

These molecules act as supervisor agents responsible of 'switch on' or 'switch off' other genes in our genome that regulate the activity of neurons. The work has been published in the last issue of the journal RNA Biology.

Dark genome

Only 5% of our genetic material are genes that encode proteins. The remaining 95% is known as dark genome or non-coding DNA and its function is still unknown. Part of this DNA produces RNA molecules called noncoding long chain RNA (lncRNAs).

Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disease and it is the second most common cause of mental retardation in females after Down syndrome. Clinical symptoms occur between 6 and 18 months after birth and consist of a loss of cognitive, social and motor capacities accompanied by autistic behaviors, eg, stereotypic hand movements.

Today there is no effective treatment of the disease but the control of their symptoms. The syndrome is usually due to the presence of a mutation in MeCP2 epigenetic gene that, as a magnet, regulates the expression of many other genes of the cell.

Esteller's team works with a mouse model that faithfully reproduces the characteristics of the human Rett syndrome. In this study, researchers compared the expression of long chains of RNA in healthy and diseased animals and found that the presence of mutations in the Mecp2 gene causes alterations in the activity of lncRNA.

One such altered lncARN regulates the function of a key neurotransmitter in the nervous system in all vertebrates brain (GABA receptor). "Its alteration", says Esteller, "could explain the defects of communication between neurons in girls affected by Rett Syndrome."

According to Manel Esteller "this finding, in addition to increasing knowledge about the causes of the disease, could open the door to new therapeutic strategies that target lncRNA molecules or GABA receptor."

The study was supported by the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan Institute of Advanced Studies (ICREA), the Spanish Ministry of Health (E-RARE), the European Project EPINORC DISCHROM and the Fondation Lejeune (France) and the Catalan Association Rett Syndrome.

Article reference

Petazzi P., Sandoval J., Szczesna K., Jorge O.C., Roa L., Sayols S., Gomez A., Huertas D. and Esteller M. Dysregulation of the long non-coding RNA transcriptome in a Rett syndrome mouse model. RNA Biology, 10(7), 2013.

Arantxa Mena | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idibell.cat

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>