Dr. Christine Schnitzler Publishes Paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Published: Monday, August 31, 2020
PDF Full Paper
Congratulations to Dr. Christine Schnitzler for co-authoring a paper titled "The genetic basis for PRC1 complex diversity emerged early in animal evolution."
Controlling gene expression in animals, including humans, often involves repressing or silencing genes via the Polycomb system. Vertebrates have a large number of Polycomb protein complexes, including those in the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) family.
In a new study, Dr. Christine Schnitzler (Assistant Professor, UF Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience) and her collaborators Dr. James Gahan and Dr. Fabian Rentzsch of the Sars Centre for Marine Molecular Biology in Norway show for the first time that the large number of complexes found in vertebrates appeared early in animal evolution, but was subsequently reduced in many animal groups.
Only anthozoan cnidarians (corals and sea anemones) and vertebrates have the full set of possible PRC1 complexes. The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), takes the first step towards understanding the function of PRC1 complexes in cnidarians. The authors highlight the importance of non-standard research organisms, such as the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis featured in this report, when studying the evolution of biological processes such as gene silencing by Polycomb.
*You may need to be logged into the UF network to view paper