Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Yeast genomes reveal new sites of gene control

30.05.2003


Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have begun unraveling the network of genes and proteins that regulate the lives of cells. The investigators compared the genome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) to those of five other yeast species to identify all the locations at which molecules known as regulatory proteins attach to DNA to turn genes on and off. The study is published in the May 30 issue of the journal Science.



Among the many potential sites of gene regulation, 79 were predicted to be definitive new regulatory sites. The investigators also discovered 43 new genes and determined that 515 suspected genes are not genes at all. The findings revised the estimated number of genes in the S. cerevisiae genome from 6,331 to 5,773.

"This is the first step in understanding the gene-regulation network in a simple cell," says principal investigator Mark Johnston, Ph.D., professor of genetics and interim chair of genetics. "This work also will provide guidelines for analyzing the regulatory network of human cells, which will be a much more complex task."


Regulatory sequences are important, Johnston notes, because they are the basis of development. For example, a liver cell differs from a brain cell not because they have different genes—both cells have the same set of genes—but because of the genes they use. And that’s determined by the regulatory sequences that activate one set of genes in the liver and another set in the brain. A variety of diseases, including cancer, are caused by problems in gene regulation.

Identifying gene regulatory sites is not easy, however. These regions serve as docking sites for DNA binding proteins that turn the gene on or off. They lack the typical DNA patterns that help scientists recognize the body of the gene, which contains information about the structure of a protein.

Johnston and his colleagues compared the genomes of S. cerevisiae to five other yeast species, hypothesizing that the regions that were most alike in all six would be potential regulatory sites.

The investigators found about 8,000 of these conserved sites, about one-third of which already were known regulatory sequences. After eliminating the known sites from the total, the investigators searched for other evidence that these sites are functional, and pinpointed 79 sites located within or near genes which are excellent candidates for new regulatory sequences.

The team will is now refining the number of sites by determining which yeast regulatory proteins bind to the them.

"Now," Johnston says, "we can begin tackling the really interesting question: how a relatively small number of regulatory proteins coordinate the activity of more than 5,700 genes to maintain a healthy, growing yeast cell."


Cliften P, Sudarsanam P, Desikan A, Fulton L, Fulton B, Majors J, Waterston R, Cohen BA, Johnston M. Finding functional features in Saccharomyces genomes by phylogenetic footprinting. Science, May 30, 2003.

Funding from the National Institute of General Sciences supported this research.

Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://medinfo.wustl.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>