Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Human proteins evolving slowly thanks to multi-tasking genes

06.02.2007
Many human proteins are not as good as they might be because the gene sequences that code for them have a double role which slows down the rate at which they evolve, according to new research published in PLoS Biology.

By tweaking these dual role regions, scientists could develop gene therapy techniques that produce proteins that are even better than those found in nature, and could one day be used to help people recover from genetic disorders.

The stretch of DNA which codes for a specific protein is often interrupted by sections of apparently useless DNA – known as introns – which need to be edited out in order to produce a new protein.

Recently it has been discovered that some of the instructions on where to splice and re-splice the DNA in this editing process are contained in the coding section, or exon, of the DNA itself.

... more about:
»DNA »Dual »evolve »section

So, as well as spelling out which amino acids are needed to produce a specific protein, the part of the exon immediately next to the intron contains information that is essential for the gene editing process.

This means that these parts of genes evolve particularly slowly, making the proteins they encode for not as good as they could be had evolutionary processes been more able to improve them over time.

“Our research suggests that a gene with many exons would evolve at under half the rate of the same one that had no introns, simply owing to the need to specify where to remove introns,” said Professor Laurence Hurst from the University of Bath (UK), who worked with colleagues from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) on the project.

“This is one of the strongest predictors of rates of protein evolution known, indicating that this dual coding role is vastly more influential than previously believed.”

The finding could have major implications for medicine and the development of gene therapy techniques in which people with a defective gene are given the correct version.

“Our results suggest that we could make the replacement gene even better than the normal version,” said Professor Hurst, from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Bath.

“We would just need to remove the introns and tweak the protein at the sites that were dual coding.

“We also found that genes that have lost their introns many millions of years ago evolve especially fast near where the introns once resided.

“This indicates that this tweaking of the dual role sections of genes is also what evolution does when introns are removed.”

The research was funded by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Center for Integrative Genomics at the University of Lausanne.

Andrew McLaughlin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2007/2/6/proteinevolution.html

Further reports about: DNA Dual evolve section

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

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

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>