Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Major advances in understanding the regulation and organization of the human genome

Date:
September 5, 2012
Source:
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summary:
The National Human Genome Research Institute today announced the results of a five-year international study of the regulation and organization of the human genome. The project is named ENCODE, which stands for the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements. In conjunction with the release of those results, the Journal of Biological Chemistry has published a series of reviews that focus on several aspects of the findings.

The National Human Genome Research Institute today announced the results of a five-year international study of the regulation and organization of the human genome. The project is named ENCODE, which stands for the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements. In conjunction with the release of those results, the Journal of Biological Chemistry has published a series of reviews that focus on several aspects of the findings.

"The ENCODE project not only generated an enormous body of data about our genome, but it also analyzed many issues to better understand how the genome functions in different types of cells. These insights from integrative analyses are really stories about how molecular machines interact with each other and work on DNA to produce the proteins and RNAs needed for each cell to function within our bodies," explains Ross Hardison of Pennsylvania State University, one of the JBC authors.

Hardison continued: "The Journal of Biological Chemistry recognized that the results from the ENCODE project also would catalyze much new research from biochemists and molecular biologists around the world. Hence, the journal commissioned these articles not only to communicate the insights from the papers now being published but also to stimulate more research in the broader community."

The human genome consists of about 3 billion DNA base pairs, but only a small percentage of DNA actually codes for proteins. The roles and functions of the remaining genetic information were unclear to scientists and even referred to as "junk DNA." But the results of the ENCODE project is filling this knowledge gap. The findings revealed that more than 80 percent of the human genome is associated with biological function.

The study showed in a comprehensive way that proteins switch genes on and off regularly -- and can do so at distances far from the genes they regulate -- and it determined sites on chromosomes that interact, the locations where chemical modifications to DNA can influence gene expression, and how the functional forms of RNA can regulate the expression of genetic information.

The results establish the ways in which genetic information is controlled and expressed in specific cell types and distinguish particular regulatory regions that may contribute to diseases.

"The deeper knowledge of gene regulation coming from the ENCODE project will have a positive impact on medical science," Hardison emphasizes. For example, recent genetic studies have revealed many genomic locations that can affect a person's susceptibility to common diseases. The ENCODE data show that many of these regions are involved in gene regulation, and the data provide hypotheses for how variations in these regions can affect disease susceptibility, adds Hardison.

The effort behind the ENCODE project was extraordinary. More than 440 scientists in 32 labs in United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Singapore and Japan performed more than 1,600 sets of experiments on 147 types of tissue. The results were published today in one main integrative paper and five other papers in the journal Nature, 18 papers in Genome Research and six papers in Genome Biology.

The JBC thematic review series was organized by Peggy J. Farnham of the University of Southern California. Farnham is also an author on the main integrative paper in Nature, as were seven other JBC authors, including Hardison, Vishwanath R. Iyer, Bum-Kyu Lee, Raymond K. Auerbach, Ghia Euskirchen, Victor X. Jin and Michael Snyder.

Visit the ENCODE project portal, www.encodeproject.org, for more information.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. J. Farnham. Introduction to the Thematic Minireview Series on results from the ENCODE Project: Integrative global analyses of regulatory regions in the human genome. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.R112.365940

Cite This Page:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Major advances in understanding the regulation and organization of the human genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905154613.htm>.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2012, September 5). Major advances in understanding the regulation and organization of the human genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905154613.htm
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Major advances in understanding the regulation and organization of the human genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905154613.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. 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:
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