Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plant research reveals new role for gene silencing protein

Date:
March 29, 2012
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
A DICER protein, known to produce tiny RNAs in cells, also helps complete an important step in gene expression, according to research on Arabidopsis thaliana. The expression of a gene requires activation via a promoter or an external trigger. Plant research to be published in Science helps to show that later stages of transcription are just as important. This is likely to apply to other organisms, including humans.

Arabidopsis.
Credit: Olivier M. / Fotolia

A DICER protein, known to produce tiny RNAs in cells, also helps complete an important step in gene expression, according to research on Arabidopsis thaliana. The expression of a gene, when an organism's DNA is transcribed into a useable product, requires activation via a promoter or an external trigger. Plant research to be published in Science helps to show that later stages of transcription are just as important. This is likely to apply to other organisms, including humans.

Termination is the final stage of transcription. Successful termination is dependent on DNA being transcribed into RNA with the correct sections, including a certain length tail.

Scientists at the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park have found that where effective termination through the normal mechanisms has not occurred, DICER-LIKE 4 (DCL4) steps in to tidy up. Without termination, transcription continues down the chromosome unchecked.

In this way, DCL4 plays a crucial and previously unknown role in transcription termination. It helps formation of the gene product. DCL4 is more commonly known to play a part in the opposite effect, gene silencing.

"DCL4 is a back-up to termination processes, helping a gene to be successfully expressed," said lead author Professor Caroline Dean from JIC, which is strategically funded by BBSRC.

The findings may help explain why gene silencing happens so often with transgenes. It was not known that so much attention should be given to the tail end of a gene.

"Our research shows that for successful expression the end of a gene is just as important as its beginning," said Dean.

When termination fails a lot of aberrant RNA is made -- this is degraded as part of a cell's quality control mechanism. This can have consequences for other sequences in the genome that match the aberrant RNA.

"If a gene ends badly, aberrant RNA will trigger silencing pathways," said Dean.

DCL4's ability to step in to rescue poor termination makes it important for both successful gene expression, a previously unknown role for it, and gene silencing.

The research was funded by JIC's strategic funding from BBSRC and by the EU research project SIROCCO, focused on silencing RNAs


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Fuquan Liu, Saleha Bakht, and Caroline Dean. Cotranscriptional Role for Arabidopsis DICER-LIKE 4 in Transcription Termination. Science, 30 March 2012: 1621-1623 DOI: 10.1126/science.1214402

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Plant research reveals new role for gene silencing protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329141923.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2012, March 29). Plant research reveals new role for gene silencing protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329141923.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Plant research reveals new role for gene silencing protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329141923.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
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
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) 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