Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Ping-Pong’ mechanism seen in gene-controlling enzyme

30.10.2002


An enzyme that plays a pivotal role in controlling genes in yeast acts through a more versatile mechanism than was previously thought to be the case, according to a new study by researchers at The Wistar Institute.



Its mode of action is also distinct from that of other members of the vital enzyme family into which it falls, the scientists found. Because the human counterpart of the enzyme has been associated with certain forms of leukemia, this observation raises the possibility that drugs designed to specifically inhibit the enzyme might be useful in treating these cancers.

A report on the study appears in the November issue of Nature Structural Biology.


The enzyme studied, called Esa1, is one of a family of enzymes called HATs, which are responsible for relaxing, when appropriate, the tightly compacted DNA packaging that prevents genes from being accessed and activated most of the time. HATs do this by transferring an acetyl group from a coenzyme donor molecule to target proteins called histones that control the DNA packaging.

Other members of the enzyme family can accomplish this transfer only when all three components - the donor molecule, the enzyme, and the target - are in the same place. Esa1, on the other hand, is able to temporarily accept an acetyl group from the coenzyme donor before handing it off to the histone protein.

"This enzyme uses what we call a ping-pong mechanism," says Ronen Marmorstein, Ph.D., senior author on the study and an associate professor at The Wistar Institute. "First the acetyl molecule is transferred to the enzyme - ping - and then it goes from the enzyme to the histone protein - pong. It’s a different and more flexible way of getting your business done."

The time during which the enzyme is carrying the acetyl group is quite brief, Marmorstein notes, but he and his team were able to trap the moment in a crystallized form of the enzyme that they were then able to analyze more closely.

Earlier studies by Marmorstein’s group had shown that the molecular structure of the active region of the enzyme was nearly identical to the structures of the corresponding regions of other HATs. At that time, his team hypothesized that the mode of action of the enzymes might also be similar. The current study showed this not to be the case, however.

Franklin Hoke | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wistar.upenn.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How cells hack their own genes
24.08.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>