Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Slight Differences – New Insights into the Regulation of Disease-Associated Genes


Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in the Helmholtz Association, in collaboration with the National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS), have gained new insights into the regulation of disease-associated genes. They used a new technique that enables them to observe gene regulation at the level of protein production. They could thus capture more individual gene regulations than with traditional methods that only capture gene expression and transcription (Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms8200)*.

When a gene is read, its blueprint for proteins encoded in the language of DNA is transcribed in the cell nucleus into RNA. “At this level, many but by far not all of the individual differences in gene regulation can be identified,” said Professor Norbert Hübner, senior author of the publication and head of the research group Genetics and Genomics of Cardiovascular Diseases at the MDC.

Together with Sebastian Schafer (MDC, NHRIS) and Eleonora Adami (MDC) as well as researchers from several research institutions in Berlin, the Netherlands, England and the Czech Republic, they investigated gene regulation on the next level, translation. It takes place outside the cell nucleus, in the cell plasma. During translation, the RNA sequence is translated into amino acid sequences and assembled into proteins in the protein factories of the cell, the ribosomes.

First, the researchers searched the entire genome of two strains of rats, – one strain had high blood pressure, the other strain not – and specifically investigated genes of the heart and liver tissue. Then they used a new technique called ribosome profiling, abbreviated ribo-seq, which enables them to determine what proportion of the transcriptome is actively translated into proteins.

The result: They observed almost double the number of differentially expressed heart and liver genes in translation as in transcription. Next, they compared these data with the corresponding human genes in genome-wide association studies.

This comparison revealed that a large number of heart and liver genes in humans are regulated primarily during translation. The researchers are confident that capturing interindividual differences in the translated genome will lead to new insights into the genes and regulatory pathways underlying disease.

*Translational regulation shapes the molecular landscape of complex disease phenotypes
Sebastian Schafer1,2,*, Eleonora Adami1,*, Matthias Heinig1,3, Katharina E. Costa Rodrigues1, Franziska Kreuchwig1, Jan Silhavy4, Sebastiaan van Heesch1, Deimante Simaite1, Nikolaus Rajewsky5,6, Edwin Cuppen7, Michal Pravenec4, Martin Vingron3, Stuart A. Cook2,8,9 & Norbert Hübner1,6,10
1Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in the Helmholtz Association, Robert-Rössle-Strasse 10, 13125 Berlin, Germany.
2National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS), National Heart Centre Singapore, Singapore 169609, Singapore.
3Department of Computational Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Ihnestrasse 63-73, 14195 Berlin, Germany.
4Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Vídenska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic.
5Systems Biology of Gene Regulatory Elements, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in the Helmholtz Association, Robert-Rössle-Strasse 10, 13125 Berlin, Germany.
6DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site, 13347 Berlin, Germany.
7Hubrecht Institute-KNAW & University Medical Center Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands.
8National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London SW3 6NP, UK.
9Duke-National University of Singapore, Singapore 169857, Singapore.
10Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

Barbara Bachtler
Press Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33

Weitere Informationen:

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>