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 Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees
20.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht The Kitchen Sponge – Breeding Ground for Germs
20.07.2017 | Hochschule Furtwangen

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

Leipzig HTP-Forum discusses "hydrothermal processes" as a key technology for a biobased economy

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation

20.07.2017 | Information Technology

High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing

20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

First direct observation and measurement of ultra-fast moving vortices in superconductors

20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>