New molecular technologies, some driven by the work of a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are exposing unexpectedly high levels of DNA folding and complex protein-rich assemblages within the nucleus of cells that he says "seriously challenge the textbook models."
"What we are seeing suggests that there may be machinery, not yet identified, that controls the folding and the movements of enzymes that turn genes on and off," said Andrew Belmont, a professor of cell and structural biology, who is giving a talk on the subject today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Belmont, who also is a medical doctor, discussed current trends of research on chromatin structure during a session on "The New Nucleus: Mothership of the Human Genome." Chromatin is a part of a cells nucleus that contains nucleic acids and proteins -- the genetic material necessary for cell division. During mitosis, chromatin folds and condenses.
Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
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