Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method helps link genomic variation to protein production

Date:
November 6, 2012
Source:
American Society of Human Genetics
Summary:
By adopting a novel approach for determining the effect of genetic variation on efficiency of the biological process that translates a gene's DNA sequence into a protein, researchers found that translational differences between mRNAs that differ only slightly from one another can be detected at a transcriptome-wide scale. The transcriptome refers to the multiple types of RNAs that function in a cell.

Scientists have adopted a novel laboratory approach for determining the effect of genetic variation on the efficiency of the biological process that translates a gene's DNA sequence into a protein, such as hemoglobin, according to a presentation, Nov. 6, at the American Society of Human Genetics 2012 meeting in San Francisco.

In the 0.1% of the DNA that differs between any two individuals, scientists search for the biological mechanisms underlying human genetic differences, including disease susceptibility.

"How exactly these slight changes in the DNA affect the biology of the human body is not known in most cases," said Constantin Polychronakos, M.D., professor of pediatrics, experimental medicine and human genetics at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

"We decided to investigate the possibility that some of these changes may alter the translation of RNA into protein, a question that had not been systematically examined before," he added.

Translation is the final stage of gene expression at which the gene's DNA recipe for a protein can be modified, said McGill University scientist Quan Li, Ph.D., who presented the research.

In general, genomic studies have focused on finding links between diseases and variation in DNA. However, the new study takes a big step toward understanding how that variation affects the production of proteins, which are the molecules that most directly affect health and disease.

The study was designed to determine the effect of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are variations in the DNA sequence, on the process of translation, Dr. Li said.

Translation begins when a gene's DNA sequence is transcribed into the messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule that carries the transcript, or the blueprint for the protein encoded by the gene, to ribosomes, where proteins are manufactured in a cell.

Dr. Li and his colleagues developed a novel and scalable method that uses the binding of mRNAs to ribosomes as a proxy for translational efficiency of mRNAs that differ from one another because of SNPs.

"Because efficiently translated transcripts associate with multiple ribosomes while less active ones with fewer or no ribosomes, we hypothesized that functional transcripts would show a detectable shift in this distribution," said Dr. Li.

Huiqi Qu, Ph.D., co-investigator of this study and assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville, said, "The results of the proof-of-principle pilot study have clearly shown translational differences between mRNAs that differ only slightly from one another can be detected at a transcriptome-wide scale."

The transcriptome refers to the multiple types of RNAs that function in a cell.

"This study may represent the 'tip of the iceberg,' and its application to larger sample sizes will facilitate a shift toward functional genomics," said Dr. Polychronakos. "Functional genomics tells us how genetic variation affects disease and points more directly toward possible therapies."

"It will add an important tool in the evaluation of genetic loci associated with complex disorders," Dr. Polychronakos added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Human Genetics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Human Genetics. "New method helps link genomic variation to protein production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106201122.htm>.
American Society of Human Genetics. (2012, November 6). New method helps link genomic variation to protein production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106201122.htm
American Society of Human Genetics. "New method helps link genomic variation to protein production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106201122.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 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