Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Sequence of human chromosome 7 is fine-tuned and finished


Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, in collaboration with investigators at five other centers, have finished sequencing human chromosome 7. The findings are published in the July 10 issue of the journal Nature.

Chromosome 7 is the largest human chromosome to be sequenced so far. The analysis revealed that the chromosome has about 1,150 genes and 940 so-called pseudogenes, stretches of DNA that closely resemble genes but contain some genetic change that prevents them from functioning like a gene. The biological significance of pseudogenes is unknown.

"This work completes another volume in the genome encyclopedia at a high standard of quality and a high degree of continuity," says principal investigator Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D., director of Washington University’s Genome Sequencing Center and professor of genetics and of molecular microbiology. "The sequence for chromosome 7 will be very useful for follow-up studies that have a medical application."

The work may benefit research in cystic fibrosis, deafness, B-cell lymphoma and other cancers, genes for which are found on chromosome 7. Also found there is the gene for P-glycoprotein, a protein that enables cancer cells to resist anticancer drugs. Other important genes found on chromosome 7 include those that help control cell division and cell death, genes for taste and smell receptors and those involved in immune responses.

Chromosome 7 also has a relatively centrally located centromere, a small region found on all chromosomes that is important during cell division. Centromeres on other chromosomes sequenced so far are located near the tip of the chromosome, like a knob. The centromere on chromosome 7 divides the chromosome into a short arm and a long arm, both of which carry many genes. Sequencing proceeded from each end toward the centromere.

The centromere itself contains many short repetitive DNA sequences and few, if any, genes.

"We got in close to the centromere and characterized those repeat sequences for the first time," Wilson says.

The most challenging region of the chromosome to sequence was that containing genes for Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS), a rare genetic disorder characterized by mild mental retardation, unusual facial appearance and a narrowing of the aorta, the major artery leaving the heart. The WBS region was difficult to decipher because it contains large segments DNA with many duplicated genes, and the number of duplicated genes differs among individuals. Children with WBS are missing long stretches of these duplicated genes.

"It seems that multiple copies of these genes are necessary for normal development, and if any are lost, developmental abnormalities occur," Wilson says. "People who study this disease may find the chromosome 7 sequence data very helpful."

Next, Wilson and his colleagues will resequence certain genes on chromosome 7 from people with acute leukemia to better understand the genetic changes that give rise to the malignancy.

Hillier LW, Fulton RS, Fulton LA. et al. The DNA sequence of human chromosome 7. Nature, July 10, 2003.

Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

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...

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

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>