Navigation Links
Surprisingly stable long-distance relationships
Date:7/3/2014

Contrary to what was thought, sequences of DNA called enhancers which control a gene's output find their targets long before they are activated during embryonic development, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have found. Their study, published online today in Nature, also reveals that, surprisingly, the degree of complexity of enhancers' interactions in the 'simple' fruit fly Drosophila is comparable to what is seen in vertebrates.

"As an embryo develops, there are huge changes in transcription, much of which drives developmental progression: genes are changing from on to off, and off to on but the contacts between enhancers and their target genes remain largely unchanged," says Eileen Furlong from EMBL, who led the work. "Enhancers regulate transcription, so it was really surprising that there are few changes in their interactions at a time when transcription is changing."

To activate a gene, an enhancer has to come into contact with the portion of DNA at the start of the gene its promoter. For enhancers that are located far away from their targets, the cell achieves this by looping the DNA around to bring about that contact. Yad Ghavi-Helm, a postdoctoral fellow in Furlong's lab, found that, in developing fruit fly embryos, these DNA loops are formed, contact is established, and the cell's gene-reading machinery is recruited, hours before the gene is expressed. The results indicate that the whole system is primed in advance, ready to spring to action when needed.

When they looked at all the enhancers that are known in Drosophila and mapped what genes they establish contacts with, the EMBL scientists discovered that these genetic regulators act across long distances in the genome, and in complex ways. Such a prevalence of long-distance action and such complex interactions were previously known to be widespread among vertebrates, but these findings show that they evolved much earlier.

For Furlong, Ghavi-Helm and colleagues, the study opens up a plethora of further questions: At what point in an embryo's life do enhancer loops form? And how long after a gene has been switched off do the loops remain? If loop formation isn't the trigger for gene activation, what is? What's the exact role of the contacts they have found? And finally, a technically challenging question: unravelling if all an enhancer's interactions are happening at the same time in the same cell.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sonia Furtado Neves
sonia.furtado@embl.de
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly touchy
2. Climate changes effects on temperate rain forests surprisingly complex
3. Computer modeling reveals how surprisingly potent hepatitis C drug works
4. Bats and whales behave in surprisingly similar ways
5. Feral cats avoid urban coyotes, are surprisingly healthy
6. Post-Sandy, Long Island barrier systems appear surprisingly sound
7. Coral reefs in Palau surprisingly resistant to naturally acidified waters
8. Palaus coral reefs surprisingly resistant to ocean acidification
9. Immunosignaturing: An accurate, affordable and stable diagnostic
10. A new breed of stable anti-aromatic compound
11. Treating stable flies in pastures
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/20/2017)... March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare announces the ... and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung ... 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, Digital Health, ... dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower people to ... intent focus, PMD developed the first ever personal spirometer, ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 4Dx ... prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the University of ... was invited to deliver the latest data to world ... recognised event brings together leaders at the forefront of ... in lung imaging. "The quality of ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... 2017   HireVue , the leading provider of ... the best talent, faster, today announced the additions of ... and Diana Kucer as Chief Marketing Officer ... team poised to drive continued growth in the company,s ... of record bookings in 2017. "Companies worldwide ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017 The Global Microfluidic Chips Market by ... specialized and comprehensive study on the existing state of the global ... Europe and Asia-Pacific , ... and Africa . ... Browse 172 Tables and Figures, 13 Major ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... NetDimensions announced today that Scandinavian ... training plan management for consistent implementation of standards and regulatory requirements across SHL ... to help improve and streamline their training and employee development programs, which are ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Franz Inc ., the leading supplier of Semantic Graph ... a ‘Champion’ by Bloor Research in its recent Graph Database Market Update ... thanks to Gruff, it was rated as the easiest product to use.” – Bloor ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Ecovia ... Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Under the ... to develop a suite of BioGel™ biopolymer materials for hygiene applications, particularly for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: