Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Junk' DNA Cut-and-paste Protein: Discovery May Prove Invaluable In Quest For Gene Therapies

Date:
September 23, 2009
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have identified how a protein enables sections of so-called junk DNA to be cut and pasted within genetic code -- a finding which could speed development of gene therapies. The study sheds light on the process, known as DNA transposition, in which shifted genes have a significant effect on the behavior of neighboring genes. In the human genome, rearrangement of antibody genes can enable the immune system to target infection more effectively.

New research sheds light on how a protein enables sections of so-called junk DNA to be cut out and reinserted elsewhere in the genome.
Credit: iStockphoto/Andrey Prokhorov

Scientists have identified how a protein enables sections of so-called junk DNA to be cut and pasted within genetic code – a finding which could speed development of gene therapies.

Related Articles


The study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh sheds light on the process, known as DNA transposition, in which shifted genes have a significant effect on the behaviour of neighbouring genes. In the human genome, rearrangement of antibody genes can enable the immune system to target infection more effectively.

The research identifies how the enzyme is able to cut out a section of DNA and reinsert it elsewhere in the genome. The study, published in the journal Cell, was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.

The cut-and-paste property of shifted DNA is now being used to develop tools for scientific research and medical applications. Learning more about transposition could help scientists understand how to control the process and speed the development of gene therapies – which introduce into cells genes with beneficial properties that, for example, can fight hereditary diseases or cancer.

Junk DNA, which accounts for almost half of the human genome, was originally believed to have no purpose. However, it is now emerging that movement of junk DNA, in a cut-and-paste mechanism, can lead to beneficial changes in cells.

Dr Julia Richardson of the University's School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: "By forming a picture of the enzyme that causes DNA to shift, and discovering how this works, we understand more about how these proteins could be adapted and controlled. This may one day enable genes to be pasted into cells exactly where they are needed – which could be of enormous benefit in developing gene therapies."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Julia M. Richardson, Sean D. Colloms, David J. Finnegan, Malcolm D. Walkinshaw. Molecular Architecture of the Mos1 Paired-End Complex: The Structural Basis of DNA Transposition in a Eukaryote. Cell, 2009; 138 (6): 1096 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.07.012

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "'Junk' DNA Cut-and-paste Protein: Discovery May Prove Invaluable In Quest For Gene Therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921134702.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2009, September 23). 'Junk' DNA Cut-and-paste Protein: Discovery May Prove Invaluable In Quest For Gene Therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921134702.htm
University of Edinburgh. "'Junk' DNA Cut-and-paste Protein: Discovery May Prove Invaluable In Quest For Gene Therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921134702.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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