Mobile DNA Makes Transcription Stumble

Researchers show that retrotransposons can influence phenotypic variation by triggering early transcription termination.

By | February 27, 2012

COURTESY OF JENNIFER TORRANCE AND STANTON SHORT, THE JACKSON LABORATORY

New research published online February 23 in Genome Research suggests that jumping genes can influence phenotypic variation by meddling with transcription of a variety of genes, even at long genomic distances.

Researchers from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center with collaborators around the United States mapped a type of mobile genetic element called endogenous retrovirus elements (ERV), in 6 previously un-sequenced mouse genomes. Negative selection appears to be working against ERVs, as they appeared at a lower frequency than random chance, especially in genes integral to embryogenesis.

Focusing on one intronic ERV in the gene Slc15a2, which encodes a transporter of peptide-like molecules, the group found that ERV insertion can correlate with premature termination of transcription products and reduced protein expression in a number of genes, some as far as 12.5 kilobases away from the insertion site in the genome.

“These findings add an interesting new angle to our understanding of fundamental mechanisms of natural variation and human biology, and possibly cancer and other diseases," lead author David E. Symer of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute said in a press release.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Monsanto Buys Rights to CRISPR
    The Nutshell Monsanto Buys Rights to CRISPR

    The US agribusiness secures a global, nonexclusive licensing agreement from the Broad Institute to use the gene-editing technology for agricultural applications.

  2. How Plants Evolved Different Ways to Make Caffeine
  3. ESP on Trial
    Foundations ESP on Trial

    In the 1930s, parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine aimed to use scientific methods to confirm the existence of extrasensory perception, but faced criticisms of dubious analyses and irreproducible results.

  4. Another DNA Vaccine for Zika Shows Promise
RayBiotech