By Larry Dignan
Posting in Energy
University of California San Francisco said a team of scientists in the U.S., South Korea and Switzerland found that a complex network of 160,000 genetic interactions in yeast cells changes when subjected to stress.
Your genetic makeup may be "rewired" courtesy of stress.
University of California San Francisco said Tuesday that a team of scientists in the U.S., South Korea and Switzerland found that a complex network of 160,000 genetic interactions in yeast cells changes when subjected to stress.
Scientists found that this "rewiring" is extensive. In fact, 70 percent of the genetic interactions that happened when cells were under stress didn't occur in normal cells.
This rewiring could be critical to study the biological responses to stress, UCSF said in a statement. The results could also apply to evaluating how cells deal with stress, disease, drugs and other issues. In a nutshell, a cell contains thousands of genes that talk to each other. This information exchange sheds light on how cells actually work. New tools such as DNA sequencing have given researchers more data on cell behavior.
The study, published in Science, was led by Nevan Krogan, PhD, an associate professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF, and Trey Ideker, PhD, chief of the Genetics Division at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. The team used a technique called "differential epistasis mapping" to develop an animated view of the rewiring inside cells. The team generated snapshots of 160,000 genetic interactions in yeast.
Jan 11, 2011
This article is misleading. The type of stress the paper is talking about is adding methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) to DNA environment. MMS is a carcinogen that is at this point in time is thought to stall the repair/replication of DNA. As mentioned by willbonds, this is not what a typical person would interpret stress as being.
I wonder if we are seeing the early picture of how personalities fracture or change to separate identities to handle stress. Don't we all have our "work" face and our "home" face? Perhaps there is a deeper bases for these fractions of our "self" based on genetic twists of our genome. (Sounds of Twilight Zone wafting thru the background. . . ) This surely is a brave new world.
Are the rewired genes replicable? It seems this question is always dodged in these reports. Are researchers still afraid to approach the heretical notion that genes can evolve in direct relation to the nature of their environmental experience?
I hate your system. I posted an extremely humorous conversation between some yeast cells (example: they kept referring to one another as "bud"), and your system dropped it. Now it's lost to posterity. My genome is rewiring as I type. Soon I will transform into The Hulk and smash my monitor. Who's going to pay for that, huh?
The stress appears to have been genetic damage. From the abstract: Although cellular behaviors are dynamic, the networks that govern these behaviors have been mapped primarily as static snapshots. Using an approach called differential epistasis mapping, we have discovered widespread changes in genetic interaction among yeast kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors as the cell responds to DNA damage. Differential interactions uncover many gene functions that go undetected in static conditions. They are very effective at identifying DNA repair pathways, highlighting new damage-dependent roles for the Slt2 kinase, Pph3 phosphatase, and histone variant Htz1. The data also reveal that protein complexes are generally stable in response to perturbation, but the functional relations between these complexes are substantially reorganized. Differential networks chart a new type of genetic landscape that is invaluable for mapping cellular responses to stimuli.
There are different definitions of the word stress, and different kinds of stress that may occure on or within the human body. It would be interesting to know what kind of stress that the scientists subjected the yeast to, and what kinds of stimulai might cause that stress to a human cell. Also, it would be interesting to know whether or not this kind of stress reaches the cells in reproductive organs.