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Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

A research team from Saudi Arabia and Australia describes an alternative cysteine amino acid biosynthesis pathway present in the Acropora loripes coral genome for a paper appearing in Science Advances. Contrary to past studies suggesting that the coral turns to symbiosis with Symbiodiniaceae family dinoflagellates to make up for the loss of a cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) gene that codes for an enzyme involved in the traditional cysteine biosynthesis pathway, the investigators uncovered another cysteine biosynthesis pathway that relies on homologs of the Cys2 succinyltransferase and Cys1a sulfhydrylase enzymes previously linked to an alternative cysteine pathway in fungi. "We demonstrate that these coral proteins are functional and synthesize cysteine in vivo, exhibiting previously unrecognized metabolic capabilities in animals," the authors report, noting that the same pathway "is also present in most animals, but absent in mammals, arthropods, and nematodes, precisely the groups where most of the animal model organisms belong to, highlighting the risks of generalizing findings from model organisms."

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.