Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Humans, chimpanzees and monkeys share DNA but not gene regulatory mechanisms

Date:
November 6, 2012
Source:
American Society of Human Genetics
Summary:
Up to 40 percent of the differences in the expression or activity patterns of genes between humans, chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys can be explained by regulatory mechanisms that determine whether and how a gene's recipe for a protein is transcribed to the RNA molecule that carries the recipe instructions to the sites in cells where proteins are manufactured.

Chimpanzee. Humans share over 90% of their DNA with their primate cousins. The expression or activity patterns of genes differ across species in ways that help explain each species' distinct biology and behavior.
Credit: davemhuntphoto / Fotolia

Humans share over 90% of their DNA with their primate cousins. The expression or activity patterns of genes differ across species in ways that help explain each species' distinct biology and behavior.

DNA factors that contribute to the differences were described on Nov. 6 at the American Society of Human Genetics 2012 meeting in a presentation by Yoav Gilad, Ph.D., associate professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Gilad reported that up to 40% of the differences in the expression or activity patterns of genes between humans, chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys can be explained by regulatory mechanisms that determine whether and how a gene's recipe for a protein is transcribed to the RNA molecule that carries the recipe instructions to the sites in cells where proteins are manufactured.

In addition to improving scientific understanding of the uniqueness of humans, studies such as the investigation conducted by Dr. Gilad and colleagues could have relevance to human health and disease.

"Through inter-species' comparisons at the DNA sequence and expression levels, we hope to identify the genetic basis of human specific traits and in particular the genetic variations underlying the higher susceptibility to certain diseases such as malaria and cancer in humans than in non-human primates," said Dr. Gilad.

Dr. Gilad and his colleagues studied gene expression in lymphoblastoid cell lines, laboratory cultures of immortalized white blood cells, from eight humans, eight chimpanzees and eight rhesus monkeys.

They found that the distinct gene expression patterns of the three species can be explained by corresponding changes in genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that determine when and how a gene's DNA code is transcribed to a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule.

Dr. Gilad also determined that the epigenetics process known as histone modification also differs in the three species. The presence of histone marks during gene transcription indicates that the process is being prevented or modified.

"These data allowed us to identify both conserved and species-specific enhancer and repressor regulatory elements, as well as characterize similarities and differences across species in transcription factor binding to these regulatory elements," Dr. Gilad said.

Among the similarities among the three species were the promoter regions of DNA that initiated transcription of a particular gene.

In all three species, Dr. Gilad's lab found that transcription factor binding and histone modifications were identical in over 67% of regulatory elements in DNA segments that are regarded as promoter regions.

The researchers presentation is titled, "Genome-wide comparison of genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in primates."


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. "Humans, chimpanzees and monkeys share DNA but not gene regulatory mechanisms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106201124.htm>.
American Society of Human Genetics. (2012, November 6). Humans, chimpanzees and monkeys share DNA but not gene regulatory mechanisms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106201124.htm
American Society of Human Genetics. "Humans, chimpanzees and monkeys share DNA but not gene regulatory mechanisms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121106201124.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

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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