Thursday, August 19, 2010

Junk DNA Can Revive and Cause Disease, Study Finds -

Junk DNA Can Revive and Cause Disease, Study Finds

The human genome is riddled with dead genes, fossils of a sort, dating back hundreds of thousands of years — the genome’s equivalent of an attic full of broken and useless junk.........

And the more they looked at that region of chromosome 4, the more puzzling it was. No one whose dead gene was repeated more than 10 times ever got FSHD. But only some people with fewer than 10 copies got the disease.

A group of researchers in the Netherlands and the United States had a meeting about five years ago to try to figure it out, and began collaborating. “We kept meeting here, year after year,” said Dr. Stephen J. Tapscott, a neurology professor at the University of Washington.

As they studied the repeated, but dead, gene, Dr. Tapscott and his colleagues realized that it was not completely inactive. It is always transcribed — copied by the cell as a first step to making a protein. But the transcriptions were faulty, disintegrating right away. They were missing a crucial section, called a poly (A) sequence, needed to stabilize them......

Thrilled to have the researcher we first funded in 2006 be recognized for this important work in a national publication - hopefully the awareness of FSHD and the importance of this research will be recognized.

1 comment:

Jack Dresdow said...

This is "goosebumps" good news for a cure. What a breakthrough and and what an achievement for FSHfriends and the Colellas.

Jack Dresdow
Oregon City, Oregon