Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study of gene expression has revealed first steps of evolution in gene regulation in mice

Date:
August 2, 2013
Source:
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Summary:
A study of gene expression has revealed the first steps of evolution in gene regulation in mice. The research has implications for the study of differences in gene regulation between people.

A study of gene expression led by scientists at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the University of Cambridge has revealed the first steps of evolution in gene regulation in mice. Published in the journal Cell, the research has implications for the study of differences in gene regulation between people.

Related Articles


"We found an impressive amount of variation between these apparently very similar mice in terms of transcription-factor binding, which is an important indicator of gene-regulation activity," says Paul Flicek of EMBL-EBI. "Often you'll see a specific combination of these transcription factors acting in concert -- and it was fascinating for us to see just how important these combinations are. They're much more likely to be conserved over the course of evolution than whatever DNA sequence they might be binding to."

The team studied gene expression in five very closely related mouse species in order to pinpoint changes at the very earliest stages of evolution. To do this, they compared the way that three transcription factors (TFs) bind to genes to control if they're turned on or off in liver cells in the different mouse species.

"By looking at mice that are very closely related to each other, we were able to capture a snapshot of what regulatory evolution is happening," explains Duncan Odom of the University of Cambridge. "That's important because it's much harder to see how something has evolved when you don't have a clear picture of the starting point."

Say you wanted to know how an orange tree evolved, but you could only compare it to an elm or oak. You'd have greater insight into how an orange tree evolved if you could compare it to much more closely related plants like grapefruit and lemons, which could give insight into how each came from an ancestral citrus plant. In this study, instead of comparing leaf and fruit shapes, the team looked at gene regulation in mice that had only recently diverged from one another. They demonstrated that TFs work in clusters that are conserved in order to ensure genetic and evolutionary stability.

The researchers contrasted their findings with gene-regulation data from another model organism, Drosophila, to see where the similarities lay. They found that there were a lot more differences between closely related mouse strains than there are between distantly related fruit-fly strains.

"Mammals have lots of DNA kicking around that doesn't code for proteins, while fruit flies have relatively little. So a mouse's regulatory wiring will just have a lot more wiggle room than a fruit fly's," says Paul. "That gives us a clearer picture of what we can expect to learn about mammalian genetic regulation from fruit flies."

The study could help scientists understand how gene regulation differs from one person to the next, explaining why genes that cause disease in some people don't have that effect in others.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Klara Stefflova, David Thybert, MichaelD. Wilson, Ian Streeter, Jelena Aleksic, Panagiota Karagianni, Alvis Brazma, DavidJ. Adams, Iannis Talianidis, JohnC. Marioni, Paul Flicek, DuncanT. Odom. Cooperativity and Rapid Evolution of Cobound Transcription Factors in Closely Related Mammals. Cell, 2013; 154 (3): 530 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.07.007

Cite This Page:

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Study of gene expression has revealed first steps of evolution in gene regulation in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130802080242.htm>.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). (2013, August 2). Study of gene expression has revealed first steps of evolution in gene regulation in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130802080242.htm
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Study of gene expression has revealed first steps of evolution in gene regulation in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130802080242.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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