Monday, September 28, 2009

Premature truncation of Talkative proteins causes Elevator Muteness in humans

C. Otilia and B. Sazo-Mari
Centro de Investigación de Proteínas Fútiles, Valencia, Spain

Talkative genes are highly abundant genes responsible of chatting behaviour and sensitivity to kissing in humans. Our previous studies on a cohort of gossiping subjects identified the tandem Talkative-A genes (TakA-Taka) as the major Talkative genes induced along mid-morning working hours in the staff from administrative and governmental premises in the Western Europe Mediterranean area. TakA-Taka genes are specifically expressed at the tip of the tongue in a stimulus-dependent manner, and fluctuations in sexual hormone levels play a key role in the precise control of the functions mediated by the TakA-Taka proteins. Transgenic honey bees (Apis mellifera iberiensis) overexpressing human TakA-Taka were able to use a novel communication code, pheromone- and dancing-independent, to inform to the colony about the localization of the more attractive and delicious pollen and nectar sources around. Unfortunately, TakA-Taka-overexpressing bees were non-viable at the long term, as a result of the never ending exchange of information between the worker females in their way to the flowers, which made impossible the maintenance and successful development of the hive. Here, we have analyzed the involvement of TakA-Taka in the etiology of Elevator Muteness Disease (EMD), a highly penetrant human disease triggered by the abusive use of elevators, which affects to an increasing percentage of the population in developed countries. When untreated, EMD may aggravate and produce severe misbehaviour manifestations, including spitting in public, repugnancy-to-the-others, and profound wishes of self-annihilation. Shot-gun DNA sequencing of the complete TakA-Taka genes from a random Spanish population revealed the existence of two groups of samples regarding the status of the TakA-Taka genes: group 1, displaying intact TakA-Taka genes; and group 2, displaying premature stop codons in any of the two TakA-Taka genes. Remarkably, an exquisite correlation was observed in the two groups in terms of elevator usage: whereas group 1 individuals claimed not using elevators at all, or only using them scarcely, individuals from group 2 declared being daily users of elevators, both at work and at home. Subjects that harboured TakA-Taka genes with stop codons at the very beginning of their coding sequences were interviewed for further familial- and life habits-background examination, but most of them did not have anything to say after the complementary salutations, specially when asked about their kissing preferences, and the study had to be aborted. Our observations indicate that the use of elevators is a strong risk factor for deleterious mutations at the TakA-Taka genes, and that premature truncation of the TakA-Taka proteins may be causative of EMD, likely by sudden interruption at the tongue’s tip of the thoughts elaborated in forspoken language at the brain cortex. Further experiments will be necessary to ascertain the putative relationship between the absence of EMD symptoms and the compulsive kissing desire suffered by many while in the elevators, under the stimulating proximity of other persons’ sensual lips.

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