Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Process important to brain development studied in detail

Date:
November 9, 2011
Source:
Uppsala Universitet
Summary:
Knowledge about the development of the nervous system is of the greatest importance for us to understand the function of the brain and brain disorders. Researchers in Sweden have examined the key step when genes are read and found that genes that are active in the brain are transcribed with a special mechanism. The findings can be of importance in our understanding of the genetic causes of certain brain diseases.

Knowledge about the development of the nervous system is of the greatest importance for us to understand the function of the brain and brain disorders. Researchers at Uppsala University have examined the key step when genes are read and found that genes that are active in the brain are transcribed with a special mechanism. The findings, reported in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, can be of importance in our understanding of the genetic causes of certain brain diseases.

In all cells, DNA functions as a template for the proteins that are to be formed in the cell. As an intermediate step in this process, so-called RNA molecules are formed. They appear directly after the transcription in an original form, but, before they can be translated to proteins, they are processed, in that certain parts, so-called introns, are removed. New sequencing techniques now make it possible to examine the sequence of all RNA molecules that exist in a certain cell type or tissue.

In the study now published, the scientists show that during fetal development, there is larger proportion of RNA molecules that still contain introns compared with a fully developed brain, where most RNA molecules have been fully processed. Many of these RNA molecules are the kind that can produce the many different protein variants needed during brain development. Among the RNA molecules in the brain that often still contained introns, there were also several genes of significance in psychiatric diseases.

"One possible explanation is that the growing brain needs to have more possibilities for regulating and varying the process when the introns are removed, in order to produce different protein variants," says Lars Feuk, a researcher at the Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology, who co-directed the study with Lucia Cavelier.

Another question that has long been unclear is what the process for removing introns looks like in detail. It can take place either in direct connection with the formation of RNA or after the entire RNA molecule has been formed, but in the past it was not possible to measure directly in tissue sample which is the more common in human cells. In the current study the researchers show that introns are often removed in direct connection with the formation of RNA.

"We demonstrate that this rapid removal of introns is more common than was previously thought, which indicates that the formation of RNA and the regulation of protein variants are strongly connected," says first author Adam Ameur, a bioinformatician at the Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology.

"This is important knowledge for our understanding of regulatory mechanisms for genes that are necessary for brain development."

The study was funded by, among other sources, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), the Marcus Borgstrφm Foundation, and the Gφran Gustafsson Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Adam Ameur, Ammar Zaghlool, Jonatan Halvardson, Anna Wetterbom, Ulf Gyllensten, Lucia Cavelier, Lars Feuk. Total RNA sequencing reveals nascent transcription and widespread co-transcriptional splicing in the human brain. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.2143

Cite This Page:

Uppsala Universitet. "Process important to brain development studied in detail." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111107033931.htm>.
Uppsala Universitet. (2011, November 9). Process important to brain development studied in detail. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111107033931.htm
Uppsala Universitet. "Process important to brain development studied in detail." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111107033931.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 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:
from the past week

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