Dr. François Robert, molecular biology researcher at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), and his team confirmed that the phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II, a key enzyme in the process of gene expression, is uniform across all genes. This discovery, which contributes to numerous debates on the topic within the scientific community, will be published tomorrow in the scientific journal Molecular Cell.
Phosphorylation, or the addition of phosphate to a molecule, is one of the most important regulation mechanisms for cells. It allows, among other things, to control interactions between proteins.
"During transcription, the first step in gene expression, RNA polymerase II is abundantly phosphorylated," explains Dr. Robert, Director of the Chromatin and Genomic Expression research unit at the IRCM. "This allows for the coordination between transcription and the other steps in the process of gene expression."
By examining a small number of genes, certain pioneering studies that have been long-accepted in the field had shown that phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II always occurred in the same prescribed pattern during transcription. However, recent genome-wide analyses challenged this idea by suggesting that this process was not uniform across different genes. "The latter model is very controversial, because it is unclear how, or why, transcription could work in such radically different ways from one gene to the next," says Alain Bataille, doctoral student and first co-author of the study.
By using modern functional genomic tools, the team of researchers confirmed the former hypothesis that transcription operates in a uniform way across virtually all genes.
"The identity of enzymes responsible for adding and removing phosphate groups to RNA polymerase II is another controversial topic among scientists," adds Dr. Célia Jeronimo, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Robert's laboratory and first co-author of the article. "Our research also allowed us to better understand the respective role of these essential enzymes."
About Dr. François Robert
François Robert obtained his PhD in molecular biology from the Université de Sherbrooke. He is Associate IRCM Research Professor, Director of the Systems Biology and Medicinal Chemistry research program, and Director of the Chromatin and Genomic Expression research unit. Dr. Robert is an associate researcher-professor in the Department of Medicine (accreditation in molecular biology) at the Université de Montréal. He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Biology at the Université de Sherbrooke.
About the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM)
Founded in 1967, the IRCM (http://www.ircm.qc.ca) is currently comprised of 36 research units in various fields, namely immunity and viral infections, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, neurobiology and development, systems biology and medicinal chemistry. It also houses three specialized research clinics, seven core facilities and three research platforms with state-of-the-art equipment. The IRCM employs 425 people and is an independent institution affiliated with the Université de Montréal. The IRCM clinic is associated to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). The IRCM also maintains a long-standing association with McGill University.
Julie Langelier | EurekAlert!
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences