DNA can't explain all inherited biological traits, research shows

DNA

Characteristics passed between generations are not decided solely by DNA, but can be brought about by other material in cells, new research shows.

Scientists studied proteins found in cells, known as histones, which are not part of the , but act as spools around which DNA is wound. Histones are known to control whether or not genes are switched on.

Researchers found that naturally occurring changes to these proteins, which affect how they control genes, can be sustained from one generation to the next and so influence which traits are passed on.

The finding demonstrates for the first time that DNA is not solely responsible for how characteristics are inherited. It paves the way for research into how and when this method of inheritance occurs in nature, and if it is linked to particular traits or health conditions.

It may also inform research into whether changes to the histone proteins that are caused by environmental conditions - such as stress or diet - can influence the function of genes passed on to offspring.

The research confirms a long-held expectation among scientists that genes could be controlled across generations by such changes. However, it remains to be seen how common the process is, researchers say.

Scientists tested the theory by carrying out experiments in a yeast with similar gene control mechanisms to . They introduced changes to a , mimicking those that occur naturally, causing it to switch off nearby genes. The effect was inherited by subsequent generations of .

The study, published in Science, was supported by the Wellcome Trust and the EC EpiGeneSys Network.

Professor Robin Allshire, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: "We've shown without doubt that changes in the histone spools that make up chromosomes can be copied and passed through . Our finding settles the idea that inherited traits can be epigenetic, meaning that they are not solely down to changes in a gene's DNA."


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Recycling histones through transcription

More information: Restricted epigenetic inheritance of H3K9 methylation, www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/ … 1126/science.1260638
Journal information: Science

Citation: DNA can't explain all inherited biological traits, research shows (2015, April 2) retrieved 25 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-dna-inherited-biological-traits.html
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JVK
Apr 02, 2015
The finding demonstrates for the first time that DNA is not solely responsible for how characteristics are inherited.


From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior http://www.hawaii...ion.html

From our section on molecular epigenetics
"Yet another kind of epigenetic imprinting occurs in species as diverse as yeast, Drosophila, mice, and humans and is based upon small DNA-binding proteins called "chromo domain" proteins, e.g., polycomb. These proteins affect chromatin structure, often in telomeric regions, and thereby affect transcription and silencing of various genes...."

We linked yeasts to mammals: "Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans..." -- via conserved molecular mechanisms of protein folding.

Apr 02, 2015
theory - human baby observes people around it and its hair colour or eye colour, like a chameleon, over time turns into the observed...maybe theres a mechanism at play that determines our traits that is nurture and environment dependent and not DNA programmed...youd have to separate babies from families to test it which is ethically impossible or test blind from birth children to see if theres statistically a divergence in traits. maybe theres an eye, gland, expressed protein or enzyme process at play here and not GATC pairs.

Apr 02, 2015
-- via conserved molecular mechanisms of protein folding.


JVK-Skippy. How you are Cher?

That sounded all scientifical and such like. But you got to do better for us science idiots. What does that mean? Now I'm not the scientist like you are not either, but maybe you can first start with what the mechanics of the folding are and what is conserving the thing? If you can explain that maybe you could trick somebody into believing that lab workers in the hospital are really medical scientists.

JVK
Apr 02, 2015
http://phys.org/n...tml#nRlv

Excerpt: "They have discovered that a single amino acid difference in the structure of histone H3.3 enables it to serve as a kind of memory device for the cell, marking genes that need to remain active."

The nutrient-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all species is the basis for my model, which links the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man, and I included examples.

Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model. http://www.ncbi.n...24693353

Yeast cells were linked via our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review to insects and to cell type differentiation in octopuses in Role of olfaction in Octopus vulgaris reproduction http://www.scienc...14004006

JVK
Apr 02, 2015
Signaling Crosstalk: Integrating Nutrient Availability and Sex http://www.ncbi.n...3932994/
"The mechanism by which one signaling pathway regulates a second provides insight into how cells integrate multiple stimuli to produce a coordinated response."

Feedback from Network States Generates Variability in a Probabilistic Olfactory Circuit
http://www.cell.c...)00184-1
"The integration of sensory information with network states may represent a general mechanism for generating variability in behavior."

Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction
http://www.scienc...05009815
"Indications that GnRH peptide plays an important role in the control of sexual behaviors suggest that pheromone effects on these behaviors might also involve GnRH neurons."

http://rna-mediated.com/
http://perfumingthemind.com/

James V. Kohl
Medical laboratory scientist (ASCP)

Apr 02, 2015
James V. Koh

Lab Tech

Self serving pseudo scientist pushing his creationist crap along with his debunked "perfume".

Apr 02, 2015
Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model
I prefer to read the link right here that completely DEBUNKS your "model" of stupidity: http://www.socioa...ew/24367
Medical laboratory scientist
APpeal to self authority? NOT
at least your are not still making the (felonious) claim of "Decades of experience in diagnostic medicine"

Also: how can you make your definitive statements when you STILL have not been able to conclusively demonstrate that human pheromones exist? http://rspb.royal...full.pdf

from that last link
ome scientists have claimed that a number of molecules are human pheromones but, as I explain in this review, these claims have little scientific validity
WHOOPSIE
your creationist roots are showing, jk

you post PSEUDOSCIENCE
your "interpretations" of actual science, which are 100% FALSE to date

epic fail for jk

Apr 02, 2015
Short range genetic influences are likely to have evolved before long range, but histone and other epigenetic phenotype control rely on the pre-existence of DNA.

RNA can serve an intermediate role but very short range, similar to epigenetic control, must have evolved first and has probably since become extinct when better mechanisms took over.

Apr 03, 2015
It should not be difficult to test it. Just Grab earliest blastomeres of a cleaving zygote, transfer their nuclei to different enucleated zygotes of other mothers and see the differences between them to verify they are IDENTICAL MULTIPLES/TWINS or NOT!

JVK
Apr 03, 2015
What is currently known to serious scientists about links from the de novo creation of amino acids to light-induced amino acid substitutions and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of all individuals of all genera via the biophysically constrained chemistry of nutrient-dependent reproduction can be compared to what is known about fission yeast.

The conserved molecular mechanisms that link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man via their pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction can be compared to theories by limiting the supply of nutrients.

Fission yeast or other organisms that evolve without food can be compared to those that adapt to ecological variation via nutrient-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that appear to stabilize the organized genomes of all genera.

JVK
Apr 03, 2015
Re: "...epigenetic control, must have evolved first...."

If so, there might be evidence that links the de novo creation of the first amino acids to the substitutions that differentiate all cell types of all genera.

Although evidence of absence does not mean there is an absence of evidence, what support has been found for claims by that "...epigenetic control, must have evolved first...."

If there is any evidence of evolution, it could be placed into this context:

"We cannot conceive of a global external factor that could cause, during this time, parallel evolution of amino acid compositions of proteins in 15 diverse taxa that represent all three domains of life and span a wide range of lifestyles and environments. Thus, currently, the most plausible hypothesis is that we are observing a universal, intrinsic trend that emerged before the last universal common ancestor of all extant organisms."

http://www.nature...306.html

Apr 04, 2015
@grimotr: ".maybe theres a mechanism at play that determines our traits that is nurture and environment dependent and not DNA programmed".

The traits we display are determined at ~ 50 % by genes and ~ 50 % by the environment, which is an old but persistent finding. The percentages may vary, but it is neither all genes nor all environment.

Re genetic, inherited, traits, the existence of these epigenetic modifications are long known. They could persist, but so far they disappear after 1-2 generations. And that is _despite_ that they get a free ride on a preexisting robust genetic system.

Thus it seems likely epigenetics have never nor will ever be an important form of genetic inheritance.

By the way, I wouldn't call an idea a scientific 'theory'. It could become one, if you can quantify a hypotesis so it can be tested. But that has to be shown.

Apr 04, 2015
Mitosis and Meiosis are different processes. I can see this being true if gametes are continuously produced..

JVK
Apr 04, 2015
Thus it seems likely epigenetics have never nor will ever be an important form of genetic inheritance.


Disputing Lamarckian epigenetic inheritance in mammals http://genomebiol.../16/1/60
"This paper [1] provides a citable reference for the 'doubters' of Lamarckian inheritance in mammals and, as such, is a valuable contribution to this ongoing debate."

Reprogramming of cell fate: epigenetic memory and the erasure of memories past http://dx.doi.org...01490649 "...faithful reprogramming of the methylome may be a rate-limiting step to successful cell reprogramming."

From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior (1996) http://www.hawaii...ion.html See our section on "Molecular epigenetics"

Yet another kind of epigenetic imprinting occurs in species as diverse as yeast, Drosophila, mice, and humans...

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