Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Micro RNAs Play Role In Egg Making

Date:
August 12, 2005
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Researchers at Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University have found that a recently described class of molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in regulating oogenesis, the process by which females make eggs. MiRNAs silence genes by binding to genetic elements called messenger RNA and preventing them from making new proteins -- the molecules primarily responsible for cell activities.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Researchers at Northwestern University and CarnegieMellon University have found that a recently described class ofmolecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role inregulating oogenesis, the process by which females make eggs. MiRNAssilence genes by binding to genetic elements called messenger RNA andpreventing them from making new proteins -- the molecules primarilyresponsible for cell activities.

Related Articles


While previous research has identified some miRNA targets,investigators haven't yet seen how they impact developmental processes.

"We found the first evidence that miRNAs are involved in oogenesis, andthis adds an extra layer of complexity that needs to be explored if weare to understand how development is regulated," said Jonathan Minden,associate professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon and oneof the paper's authors.

The findings will be published online the week of Aug. 8 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"If miRNAs are missing from a developing egg, then it fails to developto term, and the net result is infertility," said lead author RichardW. Carthew, Owen L. Coon Professor of Molecular Biology atNorthwestern. "It is intriguing to think that miRNA dysfunction mightbe at the root cause of certain forms of infertility. We already knowthat miRNAs are involved in cancer and stem cell biology."

Investigators were initially surprised to find that miRNAsaffected only a small fraction of expressed genes within a maturingegg. On closer inspection, they found that the genes affected by miRNAsshared common roles as regulators of protein manufacturing or turnover.These results suggest that miRNAs tightly control the abundance ofproteins throughout the process of oogenesis and fertilization.

Using a proteomics tool developed at Carnegie Mellon, the scientistscompared maturing fruit fly eggs. One group of eggs was missing a geneessential for producing miRNAs, whereas another group of eggs hadnormal miRNA production. (All plants and animals have DICER, the genethe produces miRNAs, so the researchers used a "genetic trick" togenerate DICER-less eggs.)

In comparing overall protein production between these two groups, theresearchers discovered that miRNAs stopped the manufacturing of a smallgroup of key proteins, including ones that produce ribosomes. Thesestructures constitute the cell's protein-making machinery, and theirshutdown would render cells unable to produce new proteins.

The investigators also found that miRNAs appear to attenuate proteinturnover. They speculate that this function may allow a developing eggto accumulate large amounts of specific proteins necessary to drive theamazing structural changes seen in embryogenesis.

In addition to Carthew and Minden, other authors on the PNAS paper areKenji Nakahara and Kevin Kim of Northwestern University and ChristinSciulli and Susan Dowd of Carnegie Mellon University.

###

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Micro RNAs Play Role In Egg Making." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050811105235.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2005, August 12). Micro RNAs Play Role In Egg Making. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050811105235.htm
Northwestern University. "Micro RNAs Play Role In Egg Making." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050811105235.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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