Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Discover Pattern Of Inheritance Of Non-Chromosomal DNA

Date:
September 15, 1998
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Moms and dads contribute equal amounts of DNA to their baby – almost. Each parent donates one chromosome from each of the 23 pairs humans have. But all cells also contain thousands of non-chromosomal DNA molecules located in small energy factories called mitochondria. And only mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the mother passes to the fetus.

DALLAS – September 11, 1998 – Moms and dads contribute equal amounts of DNA to their baby – almost. Each parent donates one chromosome from each of the 23 pairs humans have. But all cells also contain thousands of non-chromosomal DNA molecules located in small energy factories called mitochondria. And only mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the mother passes to the fetus.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have shown for the first time that the multiple copies of mtDNA in a single cell are transmitted in an organized and finite fashion and not in a random fashion as was previously thought. The research, using yeast as a model organism, was published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. Dr. Ron Butow, professor of molecular biology and oncology, and colleagues believe their results may directly apply to humans.

"Studies over the last 10 to 15 years have demonstrated that many genes in yeast are present in animals, and that you can swap them out," said Butow. "Basic biological processes are well-conserved between yeast and humans. That has been borne out over and over again."

Genetic disorders caused by mutations in mtDNA include a variety of neuromuscular lesions and muscle-tissue diseases, and they are inherited from the mother. However, the mother passes only a minority of her thousands of mtDNA copies to the fertilized egg, which develops into a fetus. She may have only a small proportion of mutant mtDNA molecules and not show signs of illness. But her offspring may have the disease, depending on the ratio of mutant to normal mtDNA they receive.

"The proportion of mutant to normal mtDNA accounts for disease severity – this is a segregation issue," said Butow, holder of the Beatrice and Miguel Elias Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science. "Our work has a direct bearing on some human diseases where normal mtDNA fails to be inherited efficiently in the face of mutant mtDNAs. The results in yeast clearly say segregation of mtDNA is not a random process; there is a scaffold, an apparatus to explain the patterns we see."

Dr. Koji Okamoto, a postdoctoral fellow in molecular biology and oncology, was the article's lead author. Dr. Philip Perlman, UT Southwestern professor of molecular biology and oncology and associate dean of the Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, also contributed to this study. It was funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health and The Robert A. Welch Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Researchers Discover Pattern Of Inheritance Of Non-Chromosomal DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980915073122.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (1998, September 15). Researchers Discover Pattern Of Inheritance Of Non-Chromosomal DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980915073122.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Researchers Discover Pattern Of Inheritance Of Non-Chromosomal DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980915073122.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins