Contrary to popular belief, the gene expression of "housekeeping" proteins in yeast is not synchronized or even coordinated. Instead, these essential genes -- which work together to build important cell complexes like ribosomes and proteasomes -- are turned on and off randomly, researchers report in today's online edition of linkurl:Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.;
Fluorescent micrograph of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
linkurl:Philippsen Lab, Biozentrum Basel;
"We all have our biases about how things work," said senior author linkurl:Robert Singer; of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "Sometimes, we're just wrong."The surprising finding may change the way scientists understand and assess some gene transcription networks."It's fantastic work," said linkurl:Mads Kaern,; Canada Research Chair in systems biology at the University of Ottawa, who was not involved in the research. "This challenges the idea that elaborate networks have evolved to regulate this class of genes. That is profound."Multi-protein complexes --...
Gandhi, S.J. et al., "Transcription of functionally related constitutive genes is not coordinated," Nat Struct Mol Biol., published online 5 December 2010, doi: 10.1038/nsmb.1934

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