'Junk DNA' Intelligent Design

Pseudogenes are key regulators in health and disease, not junk?

Spread the love

This paper in RNA argues the case:

Pseudogenes: Pseudo-functional or key regulators in health and disease?

Ryan Charles Pink, Kate Wicks, Daniel Paul Caley, Emma Kathleen Punch, Laura Jacobs and David Raul Francisco Carter

School of Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0BP, United Kingdom

Abstract

Pseudogenes have long been labeled as “junk” DNA, failed copies of genes that arise during the evolution of genomes. However, recent results are challenging this moniker; indeed, some pseudogenes appear to harbor the potential to regulate their protein-coding cousins. Far from being silent relics, many pseudogenes are transcribed into RNA, some exhibiting a tissue-specific pattern of activation. Pseudogene transcripts can be processed into short interfering RNAs that regulate coding genes through the RNAi pathway. In another remarkable discovery, it has been shown that pseudogenes are capable of regulating tumor suppressors and oncogenes by acting as microRNA decoys. The finding that pseudogenes are often deregulated during cancer progression warrants further investigation into the true extent of pseudogene function. In this review, we describe the ways in which pseudogenes exert their effect on coding genes and explore the role of pseudogenes in the increasingly complex web of noncoding RNA that contributes to normal cellular regulation.

– (Published in Advance March 11, 2011, doi: 10.1261/rna.2658311 RNA 2011. 17: 792-798)

2 Replies to “Pseudogenes are key regulators in health and disease, not junk?

  1. 1

    I’m so heartened to read these articles! It has been depressing taking such angry, condescending and insulting flak from sites like Richard Dawkins’ and various science websites. I am only expressing an opinion!

    I have a modest blog which I would welcome your comments on – your essay on the bacterial motors encouraged me to write this page on nanotechnolgoy in nature compared to mankind’s efforts.

    http://iaincarstairs.wordpress.....elligence/

    Kind regards, and please keep writing!

    Iain

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT; IDthefuture has a new podcast interview with Richard Weikart on his book;

    “Hitler’s Ethic and the Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress in Nazi Policy”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....6_10-07_00

Leave a Reply