Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene regulation: Can we stomach it? New technique fights against cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer

Date:
March 4, 2010
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
A breakthrough in decoding gene regulation of Helicobacter pylori has been made by an international research team. Using a newly developed sequencing technique, the researchers discovered 60 small ribonucleic acids -- tiny RNA-particles which can regulate genes -- in the genome of this human pathogen. These findings could facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies against this widespread pathogen.

Artist's rendering of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in stomach.
Credit: iStockphoto

A breakthrough in decoding gene regulation of Helicobacter pylori has been made by an international research team led by Jörg Vogel of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. Using a newly developed sequencing technique, the researchers discovered 60 small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs) -- tiny RNA-particles which can regulate genes -- in the genome of this human pathogen. These findings could facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies against this wide-spread pathogen.

Related Articles


The research is published in the journal Nature (February 17, 2010).

About 50 percent of the world's population carry Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in their gastrointestinal tract -- 30 percent of the German population are infected. Besides cancer, these bacteria are linked to other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. The decoding of the H. pylori genome in 1997 revealed this pathogen to possess surprisingly few genes for transcriptional regulators, sparking a number of crucial questions: Where do the genes of Helicobacter start, and how are these switched on and off? Have all genes been discovered already?

Researchers have been searching for new types of gene regulators in this pathogen, especially for sRNAs. It has recently been realized that these tiny RNA particles are far more abundant in all organisms than previously thought. They can regulate genes by binding to sequences of the genetic information, thereby inhibiting the production of a protein. Yet strangely enough, sRNAs seemed to be lacking in Helicobacter. Jörg Vogel, leader of the RNA Biology Group at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, and his team have finally tracked down a number of sRNAs in the pathogen.

To enable their discovery, they modified a technique called "deep sequencing," to decipher millions of RNA-sequences newly produced in a cell. The surprised scientists found 60 sRNAs: "To date, it was believed that this organism completely lacks sRNAs," says Vogel.

A new model for gene regulation?

"We found as many sRNAs in Helicobacter as in widespread intestinal bacteria like Escherichia coli or Salmonella," explains Vogel. But a very important protein required for the regulation of gene expression by sRNAs is missing in Helicobacter pylori. The stomach pathogen possibly uses different signalling pathways, which makes it a possible candidate as a model in RNA-research. "We hope to get completely new insights into gene regulation," says Vogel.

Thanks to the novel technique, the researchers could also define the starting point of every gene in Helicobacter. "It enables us to interpret the genome in a completely new way," explains Vogel. This success, achieved in collaboration with scientists from Leipzig (Germany) and Bordeaux (France), could facilitate the development of a vaccine against the pathogen. Vogel's team will now apply the new sequencing technique to other food-borne pathogens. Interesting candidates are Campylobacter jejuni, which besides Salmonella is the most frequent cause for infectious diarrhoea.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cynthia M. Sharma, Steve Hoffmann, Fabien Darfeuille, Jérémy Reignier, Sven Findeiß, Alexandra Sittka, Sandrine Chabas, Kristin Reiche, Jörg Hackermüller, Richard Reinhardt, Peter F. Stadler & Jörg Vogel. The primary transcriptome of the major human pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Nature, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nature08756

Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Gene regulation: Can we stomach it? New technique fights against cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223101421.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2010, March 4). Gene regulation: Can we stomach it? New technique fights against cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223101421.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Gene regulation: Can we stomach it? New technique fights against cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223101421.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
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