Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A small cut with a big impact

02.05.2012
During inflammation, controlled gene expression is necessary in order to allow the organism to mount an effective defense response.
For this process, the protein ARTD1 is removed from the DNA. Veterinary biochemists and molecular biologists from the University of Zurich have now elucidated this previously unclear mechanism: ARTD1 is cut into two pieces by molecular scissors, which enhances gene expression. The results are groundbreaking for our understanding of inflammatory responses and the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs.

Diseases and injuries trigger warning signals in our cells. As a result, genes are expressed and proteins produced, modified or degraded to adapt to the external danger and to protect the organism. In order to be able to produce a particular protein, the corresponding DNA segment, the gene, needs to be expressed and translated. The DNA is localized in the cell nucleus, and exists as a long string that is coiled and bound by proteins. ARTD1 is one such protein, and therefore has the potential to regulate the expression level of genes through its interaction with DNA.

If cells detect warning signals or foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses in their surroundings, the expression profile of genes changes and an inflammatory response is triggered. To induce changes in gene expression, ARTD1 is removed from particular sites of the DNA. The process by which this is brought about has, until now, remained elusive. The team headed by Professor Michael O. Hottiger from the Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Zurich has now discovered how ARTD1’s DNA recruitment is regulated during inflammation, thereby influencing gene expression and subsequently inflammation.
Molecular scissors
As the researchers demonstrate in Molecular Cell, ARTD1 is cut into two pieces by molecular scissors, the protein caspase 7. Upon cleavage, these pieces can no longer bind to the DNA, thus allowing for more efficient gene expression.

The cleavage of proteins by caspase 7 was so far mainly associated with cell death. “The cleavage of ARTD1 by caspase 7 during inflammation constitutes a new biological function. It permits a new understanding of inflammatory responses and, in the longer term, may lead to the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs,” explains Professor Hottiger. The results are of considerable importance because inflammation underlies most diseases, including cancer, immune disorders or metabolic syndrome.

Literature:
Süheda Erener, Virginie Pétrilli, Ingrid Kassner, Roberta Minotti, Rosa Castillo, Raffaella Santoro,

Paul O. Hassa, Jürg Tschopp, and Michael O. Hottiger. Inflammasome-Activated Caspase 7 Cleaves PARP1 to Enhance the Expression of a Subset of NF-kB Target Genes. Molecular Cell. March 29, 2012. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2012.02.016

Contact:
Professor Michael O. Hottiger
Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Zurich
Tel.: +41 44 635 54 77
Email: hottiger@vetbio.uzh.ch

Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich
Further information:
http://www.uzh.ch

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>