|Genetic On-Off Switch Map|
A research team headed by REN Bing, a Chinese associated professor working at University of California, San Diego, reported in the recent issue of journal Nature their findings on genome promoters of human fibroblast. The findings, published in a form of distribution chart, will deepen scientists' understanding and utilization of human genome information, and create innovative approaches for diseases studies.
REN and his team defined through experiments some 10,500 effective promoters in human fibroblasts. They also discovered that these promoters are matched with 6,763 known genes, and with at least 1,196 unknown transcription processes. Many genes need more than one promoter to control their expression. In addition, these promoters are mostly found congregated in genome. Researchers grouped promoters into four major categories, according to their transcription control modes."The study only marks the first step, which proves our analytic method effective. We will use the same approach to study promoter distributions of other cells", said REN. He added that after the human genome project, the distribution of genetic on-off switches becomes a very important topic. It will take a workload equal to, or even heavier than the genome project, if scientists attempt to work out genetic on-off switch maps for all human cellular types.