Day 31 (2p25.1-2p24.2): a Tribbles gene controlling cell division

Day 31 has 33 protein-coding genes, including TRIB2 (tribbles pseudokinase 2). Like other genes with fun names, TRIB2 was given its name by fly geneticists who first studied mutations of the fly version of the gene. TRIB2 protein seems to act as a brake on cell division to prevent overgrowth in certain parts of the embryo during development, regulating the exact shape of organs by listening for cell division timing signals.

Most genes are named after the phenotype geneticists see when the gene is mutated. Because Tribbles proteins control and restrain cell division, the mutants that first pointed scientists to the tribbles genes were characterized by increased division, leading to their name:

[T]he gene responsible for the observed [premature mitosis] phenotype … we name tribbles after the fictional small round organisms that proliferate uncontrollably when they contact water.

Seher and Leptin, Current Biology (2000)

Click here to see your TRIB2 gene on Day 31.

 

 

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