In 2003, a really important event for genetics took place: the human genome was sequenced, after which the studies were continued to make a full sense of the genome. However, as recently stated by scientists, part of the genome, namely 20% simply does not manifest itself.
According to the editors of Nucleic Acids Research, in order to obtain such data, an international team of researchers analyzed 3 large databases: GENCODE / Ensembl, RefSeq and UniProtKB, where information on the proteome is collected. Proteomes are, roughly speaking, the total number of proteins that are encoded by the human genome. So, in their study, the experts took a set of 22210 genes and it turned out that in all databases there is only data on 19446 DNA sites with encoded functions. After that, the remaining 2764 genes were analyzed and it turned out that they did not encode any protein at all. Moreover, 1470 so-called “pseudogenes” were discovered that also lost the ability to encode proteins.
Thus, scientists concluded that almost every fifth gene (that is, 20%) may not be active and “not needed”. But from what it can happen? In fact, the answer is simple: in the course of evolution, many functions are often lost, including at the genetic level, giving way to more useful or completely new ones that help the body survive.
The results of the research are currently being rechecked, but already 300 genes in the database GENCODE / Ensembl transferred to the category of non-coding. The obtained results will help not only to better understand the human genome, but also to study the mechanisms of formation of many hereditary diseases.