Function of Short Tandem Repeats Discovered to be Regulation of Gene Expression


In a study published in the journal of Nature Genetics, researchers at Columbia University explored Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), or regions of the human genome previously considered neutral or dismissed as unimportant in genome variation studies.

Utilizing genotype and gene expression data obtained from 1000 Genomes Project samples, the team studied the function of STRs using statistical genetic and integrative genomics analyses, discovering more than 2,000 repeated DNA regions that appear to influence gene expression.

The researchers also found that inter-individual variation in the size of these repeated DNA regions could account for a significant fraction of variation in gene expression and could further contribute to clinical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

For additional information regarding this study, see the article in Nature Genetics: Gymrek, M., et al. Abundant contribution of short tandem repeats to gene expression variation in humans.Nat. Genet. 48, 22-29 (2016). Or, click here to access a summary published in Science Daily.

Other News