The overwhelming majority of genes are represented in two copies in the cells of animals: one is received from the mother, the other – from the father. In many cases, the organism endures with difficulty the damage to one of the copies: a single dose of a gene may be insufficient for normal evolution. However, for some genes a single dose is not simply endurable but also welcome. Such cases deal primarily with the genes that increase life span and stress resistance. Individuals with a single normal copy of such gene (the second copy is desperately spoiled as a result of mutation) live longer and better endure unfavorable conditions. But, the owners of a double dose of the mutant gene are either nonviable or more frequently than others die of some disease such as malignant growth.
Investigation of mutations in stress resistance genes is only possible on models, and the researchers worked with drosophilas. They studied the lgl tumor suppressor gene. Human beings have the gene with the same functions, it is called Hugl-1. If normal copies of the gene are absent in the cells, frequency of cancer occurrence is high. It may seem that such detrimental mutation should be abolished by selection, however, the lgl gene mutations are rather frequently found in the population. Why?
It has turned out that the drosophilas containing one mutant copy and one normal copy of the gene possess increased embryonic survival rate if they develop at stressful temperatures (16 and 29 degrees centigrade). At the temperature of 25 degrees (which is optimal for flies), viability of mutation carriers is slightly lower that the one of owners of the double gene dose. Besides, mutation carries have a longer life span. These useful properties become normally apparent in case if mutation was received from the mother. Apparently, increased viability of flies is being formed in the early embryonic evolution stage and depends on the maternal genotype. Mutation carriers are more stable to viral infections.
Thus, if the gene does not work at all in case of two mutant copies, then probability of cancer development in the organism is high, and a single copy of the gene (in case of one mutant copy) in some way ensures optimal state of the organism in stress conditions.
Cancer development with human beings and animals is a complicated, multi-stag process connected with the loss or damage of certain genes. The drosophila investigations carried out by the Russian researchers help to understand why the mutations that can cause cancer do not disappear from the population but are preserved in it.
Nadezda Markina | alfa
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy