Exploring How Mobile Genetic Elements Can Accumulate

Exploring How Mobile Genetic Elements Can Accumulate ...

Some people carry extra baggage, according to your situation. In general, that term is related to that persons emotional history, but in genetics and our genomes, extra baggage can also explain the transposons lurking in our genomes, an historical record of our genomes living in tragic invasions during evolution.

Transposons are repetitive DNA sequences that have the potential to move (transpose) from one location to another in the genome (an organism has completed a set of genetic instructions) and are considered valuable invaders of our genomes during evolution.

BUSM researchers used the model organism of fruit flies, which has 12 percent of their genome composed of transposons and is a good proxy for humans. Transposons make up over 40 percent of our DNA in a new study published in the journal ofPLOS GENETICS.

According to psychologists, young animals store away transposons neatly, ensuring that they remain organized and quiet. However, some researchers are currently seeing transposons activated during animal aging, because the natural forces to silence transposons decrease during age. This research aims to determine if transposons activated during aging can move and accumulate in older genomes.

Despite a variety of mutations affecting RNA interference pathways, the Lau lab team used whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics to demonstrate that normal older fruit flies can prevent transposons from accumulating in genomic DNA. However, sicker animals spotted significant increases in these transposon copies during aging.

Investigators investigated the possibility of getting this condition treated using genetic techniques to improve the RNA interference pathways in flies. This also proved that older flies were able to prevent transposon RNA elevation in their teens, allowing them to see a fantastic therapist who can handle your issues without leaving you too scared to carry your weight down.

BUSM researchers found that transposons might be identified as extra-chromosomal circular DNAs. These mysterious circles are distinct from the genome and have been shown to exist in cancer cells. Although genomic transposons can only accumulate in mutant flies, these circles may even exist in normal flies.

Future efforts by the Lau lab will be to continue to discover how transposon circular DNAs amass during aging; and if the enhancement of RNA interference in older animals may also stop circular DNA in addition to transposon RNA. Perhaps we could all use some helpful therapy, not only for our emotional state, but for our genomes as well.

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