Sydney, Nov. 25 Researchers have found new evidence for advanced DNA regulation in an ancient marine organism, indicating that key mechanisms that convert genes into and out of may have occurred much earlier than thought, a discovery that shows better understanding of genetic processes and the treatment of diseases.
The study, conducted by Australian researchers, analyzes Amphixos DNA and reveals "tricks" used to control gene expression, which may have occurred much earlier than thought, said the Xinhua agency in Australia.
The translucent fish-like organism is located "right at the vertebrate-invertebrate border" and is "perfectly positioned to help us understand how the genomes have jumped from invertebrates to vertebrates," said lead author Ozren Bogdanovic of the institute.
"With Amphixos we have one of the closest living invertebrate relatives of people who is almost spine but not quite," he added.
The ancient organism has helped to provide evidence of the regions that are used to regulate gene expression for the first time in an invertebrate form, he said in an article published in the journal Nature.
"This tells us that this mechanism of regulation may have appeared millions of years ago," he said. "And that tells us a lot about the way DNA regulation has evolved, but it also helps us understand more about how it works in more complex organisms like us."
The next step in the study is to continue studying the relationship between vertebrates and invertebrates in order to gain a better understanding of DNA regulation, Bogdanovic said.
"This will allow us to deepen our understanding of how DNA regulation works, and especially how it comes down to an unfavorable disease." Understanding these processes has the potential to help us better understand and eventually cure illness, he said.
RT / MAG / SED
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