Controlling protein diversity
Proteins called coactivators control the process by which a single gene can initiate production of several proteins in a process called alternative splicing, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in a report that appears in todays issue of the journal Molecular Cell. "A major question in biology today is how human cells with 30,000 genes produce at least 120,000 proteins," said Dr. Bert OMalley, chair of the BCM department of molecular and cellular biology. The answer is a process called alternative splicing in which certain information from a gene is left out or included, changing the format of the resulting protein.
In other words, if the information in a gene is like the elements of a computer code, leaving out some of the code results in a very different program than what would have resulted if all the components had been included or different parts had been left out. In this instance, leaving out part of the gene changes the protein.
"The question is, How is this controlled?" said OMalley.
He and his colleagues have shown in previous studies that hormones like estrogen and progesterone can change the amounts of proteins made by their target genes. When hormone binds to receptors inside the cells, they are activated to seek out target genes. They then recruit the coactivators – in this case CAPERá and CAPERâ. These coactivators not only cause the gene to begin the process that results in protein production, they also determine what kind of RNA (a kind of genetic template for the protein) is made as well as what kind of protein results.
"This subgroup of coactivators, when brought to the gene, can enhance the amount of RNA made off the gene or the quantitative expression of that gene as well as qualitatively change what comes off the gene in terms of what protein is made," said OMalley. These coactivators are unusual in that they can both control alternative splicing that results in different proteins being made as well as the production of RNA.
Kimberlee Barbour | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.
Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...