Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Findings Advance Our understanding of Gene Expression

07.03.2008
A research project led by Professor Frank Gannon, Director General of Sciencen Foundation Ireland (SFI), has uncovered new revelations on possible ways to switch genes on and off that impacts on previous understandings of the biological process of how cells interpret their DNA.

Until the research reported in two papers published in today’s prestigious scientific journal - Nature, it had been presumed that in the chemical process of methylation(when a gene is turned on or turned off) a gene was stable and unchangeable.

However, arising from the findings of this research group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg in Germany which included Dr. George Reid, EMBL Professor in Heidelberg, it has been shown that this is not the case and that the methylation process is transient, cyclical and dynamic. This insight came from an approach of synchronising all cells in a population such that variations were made visible.

With the sequencing of the human genome the general public has become very aware that the answer to many diseases lies in our DNA. Crucially, only some of the total possibility of genes are expressed in any given tissue. For example, a protein that is active in a nerve cell is not expressed in the liver. The way in which this is controlled is a complex area that has attracted much research. One fundamental controlling factor is whether the DNA is tagged or modified in the region of a particular gene. This modification (methylation) is important not only in gene expression but also in ensuring that there is the right balance in the level of expression of proteins in different cells. For instance women with two chromosomes have one of these silenced by the same methylation tag such that they have one active X. chromosome as have men. The consequences of an excess level of expression is well know, for instance in Downs Syndrome where an extra chromosome is active.

... more about:
»Chromosome »DNA »Expression »methylation

One paper shows that this is a general phenomenon occurring at many different genes and in many different cell types. The second paper arises predominantly from the work of Raphael Metivier, a former Post Doctoral student of Professor Gannon, carried out in Rennes in France, which shows a mechanism for this newly described phenomenon.

Commenting on the papers, Professor Gannon, said, “ It is a great satisfaction to obtain results which were of the highest standards such that they were accepted in the most discerning journals. More significantly however, the new insights paves the way for research on methods to interfere with the methylation process. As this is central to the expression of genes which are important in cancer and development, it should prove to be a very fruitful area of research”.

Alva O'Cleirigh | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sfi.ie/content/content.asp?section_id=226&language_id=1&publication_id=1650

Further reports about: Chromosome DNA Expression methylation

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht MicroRNA helps cancer evade immune system
19.09.2017 | Salk Institute

nachricht Ruby: Jacobs University scientists are collaborating in the development of a new type of chocolate
18.09.2017 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>