Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

DNA Movement Linked to Formation of Antibody Genes

07.01.2005


Peter W. Atkinson, a University of California, Riverside professor of entomology and member of the university’s Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, is part of a team that has linked the movement of small pieces of DNA, known as transposable elements, to a process called V(D)J recombination that produces the genetic diversity responsible for the production of antibodies. This will help scientists understand the mixing and matching of DNA in organisms and the role this mixing plays in healthy and diseased cells.



Nancy L. Craig from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute led the team, which published its findings in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, in a paper titled Transposition of hAT elements links transposable elements and V(D)J recombination. Also on the team were Liqin Zhou and Rupak Mitra from Johns Hopkins, and Alison Burgess Hickman and Fred Dyda from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Md.

“These functional and comparative studies link the movement of transposable elements and V(D)J recombination. This outcome has implications for understanding transposable element movement in all organisms as well as the role that transpositional type recombination mechanisms have in chromosomal rearrangements of both healthy and diseased cells,” Atkinson said. “Of growing interest is the role that some of these rearrangements may play in the genesis of some cancers.”


Transposable elements, or small pieces of DNA that can move around within and sometimes between genomes, move through a process called transposition. Transposable elements are classified by their mechanisms of transposition. V(D)J recombination is the process by which antigen receptor genes, which encode antibodies, are created in specialized blood cells called B lymphocytes. This regulated process that involves local chromosomal rearrangements such as deletions and inversions is responsible for generating the diversity of antibodies produced by these cells.

For many years these two processes– transposable element transposition and V(D)J recombination – were thought to have some similarities and therefore may have evolved from an ancestral recombination system. “No one, however, could establish this link. The work described in this paper establishes this link,” said Atkinson.

The paper describes the mechanism by which a member of one family of transposable elements actually moves. This element is called Hermes and was discovered by Atkinson and David O’Brochta of the University of Maryland about a decade ago. The element comes from the housefly and is a member of the hAT family of transposable elements that includes the Ac element of maize, which Geneticist Barbara McClintock, of the Carnegie Institution’s Cold Harbor Laboratory in New York, discovered many decades ago.

The paper shows that, like many transposable elements, Hermes cuts away from donor DNA via double strand breaks and that the ends of the element then join to the target DNA. Unlike other transposable elements, hairpin intermediates are formed at the ends of the donor DNA rather than on the ends of the element itself. This also occurs during V(D)J recombination.

In addition, comparison of the secondary structure of the Hermes transposase (the enzyme that mediates Hermes element transposition) with the RAG1 recombinase (the enzyme that mediates V(D)J recombination) and the transposases of some retroviruses shows clear similarities between these recombination enzymes.

Ricardo Duran | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucr.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>