Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study to identify functions of hypothetical genes in two infectious disease pathogens

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded the University of Chicago $4.4 million over five years to study genes of unknown function in bacteria that cause plague and brucellosis.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded the University of Chicago $4.4 million over five years to study genes of unknown function in bacteria that cause plague and brucellosis.

Sean Crosson, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics will lead the effort to characterize hypothetical genes -- genes revealed via genome sequencing that as yet have no defined functional role -- as part of a new Functional Genomics program at the NIAID. These studies will be carried out in collaboration with Olaf Schneewind, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology.

A total of 102 genes encoding proteins and small regulatory RNA sequences in the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which causes plague, and Brucella abortus, which causes brucellosis, a livestock disease that can be transmitted to humans, will be investigated. Targets were selected based on preliminary studies by the Crosson and Schneewind research groups that indicated potential roles for these genes in infection. This research program will be centered at the Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory, a level 3 biocontainment facility housed on the campus of Argonne National Laboratory that was constructed in partnership between the NIH and The University of Chicago.

"We have an opportunity to study genes that no one has ever studied," Crosson said. "Assigning function to hypothetical genes can inform studies of all species that contain similar genes."

The University of Chicago researchers are particularly interested in better understanding how these hypothetical genes are related to the infection process. Both Y. pestis and B. abortus are transmitted to humans through animals, and gaining insight into the biological mechanisms for infection could have implications for human health and even bioterrorism.

"This information is very valuable to the infectious disease research community. Right now, researchers that encounter these genes in their genetic screens or expression experiments don't know what to do with them," Crosson said.

Together with collaborators from Argonne National Lab, this research team will use cross-disciplinary bioinformatic, biochemical and genetic approaches, and animal infection models, including fleas, to define gene function. In addition, they will utilize structural biology resources such as the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne to study the biochemical functions of proteins encoded by hypothetical genes.

"This project leverages many of the strengths of The University of Chicago and Argonne. We're a group of experimental biologists, biophysicicts, chemists and bioinformaticians coming together to expand our knowledge of microbial gene function," Crosson said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Medical Center. "Study to identify functions of hypothetical genes in two infectious disease pathogens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119093310.htm>.
University of Chicago Medical Center. (2013, November 19). Study to identify functions of hypothetical genes in two infectious disease pathogens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119093310.htm
University of Chicago Medical Center. "Study to identify functions of hypothetical genes in two infectious disease pathogens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119093310.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 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:

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