Humans have five forms of this particular protein, and three are associated with syndromes that predispose people to cancer, said Dr. Susan Rosenberg, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. Two of the forms are not associated with cancer syndromes.
Other organisms have forms of this protein in varying numbers, said Rosenberg. For example, E. coli has only one. All forms appear to be very similar, no matter what the organism. When proteins are found in a variety of organisms, they are called conserved.
"It was thought that because these were so well conserved, they should do more or less the same thing," said Rosenberg. However, research in her laboratory showed this was not the case.
In yeast and one of the human forms of a protein called RecQ actually works to help unzip DNA strands when chromosomes repair DNA damage using a process called genetic recombination. In this kind of repair, one chromosome aggregates with a partner chromosome—usually its twin chromosome following DNA replication—and then disaggregates following repair. If the repair aggregates are not unzipped, the chromosomes can't separate for reproduction. The yeast and human Werner syndrome enzymes helps prevent the buildup of unwanted intermediates of aggregated chromosomes that can actually kill the cells if not unzipped.
When that protein is lacking, the intermediates buildup and the cells die. However, while many people think all such proteins work similarly in repair, recent work by Rosenberg and others in her laboratory demonstrates that the protein works in exactly the opposite manner in E. coli.
In yeast, she said, the protein's job is to get the two chromosomes apart. One form of the protein does this also in humans, and when this protein is mutated or missing, a premature aging and cancer-predisposition disease called Werner syndrome results. Cancer results from destabilizing the chromosomes.
"When people knock out Werner (protein), they see these intermediates piling up and the cells die from failure to resolve this," she said.
Daniel B. Magner and Matthew D. Blankschien, both graduate students in Rosenberg's laboratory, found that E.coli/RecQ promotes the accumulation of these intermediates, actually promoting the cell's death by this method.
When scientists begin considering the possible of effects of other relatives of RecQ in humans and other organisms, they should be aware of this finding and consider both possibilities when seeking to link mutations in the protein to disease, said Rosenberg.
Graciela Gutierrez | EurekAlert!
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences