Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists discover chromatin-modifying enzyme crucial for normal development

15.07.2002

Over the past few years, covalent modifications of histone tails have emerged as an important mechanism of gene regulation in eukaryotes. Now, scientists have identified a major euchromatic histone methyltransferase in mammalian cells that is crucial for normal embryonic development, and possibly the prevention of cancer. In a report published in Genes & Development, Dr. Yoichi Shinkai and colleagues have identified a protein called G9a as an enzyme that adds a methyl group to the lysine 9 amino acid residue on the histone H3 proteins that are associated with euchromatic (transcriptionally active) DNA in the mammalian genome. The researchers genetically engineered live mice and murine stem cells to lack G9a in order to determine the function of the protein.

G9a-deficient mice died between embryonic day 9.5 and 12.5, and displayed severe developmental growth retardation. In fact, the G9a-deficient mouse embryos did not appear to develop beyond embryonic day 8.5. The researchers determined that this developmental growth arrest is due, at least in part, to aberrant ly high levels of programmed cell death during embryogenesis.

G9a-deficient stem cells displayed a marked decrease in histone H3 lysine 9 methylation, and were unable to differentiate into embryonic cell types in culture. Taken together, the in vivo and in vitro evidence suggests that G9a-mediated histone H3 lysine 9 methylation serves to regulate the expression of crucial genes during development.

Dr. Shinkai and colleagues found that one of the genes regulated by G9a-mediated methylation is Mage-2a, which encodes a tumor-specific protein whose function is currently unknown. The researchers show that Mage-2a expression is induced in G9a-deficient cells, and, as Dr. Shinkai points out, "This may suggest that deregulation of histone H3 lysine 9 methylation is involved in some type of tumorigenesis."

Further delineation of other G9a target genes will elucidate the full physiological role of euchromatic G9a-mediated histone H3 lysine 9 methylation, but as this work by Dr. Shinkai and colleagues shows, the role of G9a in development is already proving to be an important one.

Heather Cosel | EurekAlert

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>