Even when engineered mutations do not change amino acids, they cause proteins to misfold - which can change the proteins' functions in unexpected
ways. Recently released research from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland confirms the misfolding effect, and for the first time,
reports finding it in mammals. Misfolded proteins can create incurable diseases, and the phenomenon is causing renewed, but muted concern in the
A mutation in a human gene that does not change the resulting amino acid can nevertheless change a protein's function, according to an online report
from Science. The research marks the first time that the phenomenon has been confirmed in mammals.
"The habit we all have of disregarding nucleotide changes that don't change protein sequence may not be a good one," coauthor Michael Gottesman at
the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., told The Scientist. "This may be a generalizable phenomenon that may lead to changes in function we
haven't been thinking about."
Gottesman and his colleagues investigated MDR1, which encodes P-gp, a human membrane transport protein that helps cells pump out anticancer and other
drugs. They focused on the C3435T, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that is synonymous or silent, encoding for the same amino acid as the
gene's wild-type version.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Ignoring industrial processes that accidentally create misfolded proteins, most industries now use biotechnology and nanotechnology products. These
products, such as chemicals, are manufactured by genetically engineered organisms.
Genetic engineering purposefully manipulates proteins, causing them to misfold and create organisms that manufacture various engineered products. But
misfolded proteins have the ability to become infectious - and go places and do things no one planned to happen. Like cause new diseases.
The most well-known disease caused by a misfolded infectious protein (a prion) is Mad Cow disease - but now, we suddenly have legions of prion-related
diseases spreading around the world.
Related News Links:
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
1,800 Species of Microbial Organisms in Texas Cities' Air
Beyond Bird Flu: The Perfect Microbial Storm
EXCLUSIVE: Spin and Counterspin: New Bird Flu Mutation has 91% Fatality Rate in
SCI/TECH: Mad Cow Madness
[edit on 22/12/2006 by Mirthful Me]