Sometimes, these mechanisms lose their efficiency and some of the genes that should be “switched off” remain active. This, in turn, could lead to uncontrolled cellular proliferation, and tumorigenesis. These mechanisms, present both in lower organisms as well as in mammals, have always been thought to be separated and independent.
The work, which appears on the cover this week in the June issue of the prestigious journal Cancer Cell, carried out by researchers of the Differentiation and Cancer Programme, at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), in Barcelona (Spain), demonstrates the cross-talk between these two gene silencing mechanisms in patients suffering from acute leukemia. The work, led by the ICREA researcher Luciano Di Croce, head of the group Epigenetics and Cancer, at the CRG, performed in collaboration with Kristian Helin’s group, at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre in Copenhagen (Denmark), and Dr. Nomdedeu’s group, at the Santa Creu and Sant Pau Hospital, in Barcelona, will have important consequences in the development of new anti-tumor therapies. On the one hand, the study shows a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of gene regulation and, on the other hand, identifies a possible new pathway to reactivate erroneously “switched off” genes in tumors. In 2002, in a study published in Science, Di Croce showed that uncontrolled DNA methylation contributed to tumor progression in its first stages. Less than a year ago, Di Croce’s group described, in another study published in Nature, the biochemical connection between the Polycomb protein complex and the enzymes methylating the DNA (DNA methyltransferases).
In this new study, Di Croce has shown that the two mechanisms are not only interconnected in leukemic cells, but also that one reinforces the other and, more importantly, that one needs the other. Therefore - and this is one of the most interesting aspects of the investigation - if one of these mechanisms is blocked by specific drugs, the other will also be affected. The results achieved will allow, in the future, identifying new chemical compounds able to block both mechanisms simultaneously and exclusively, without altering other cellular mechanisms. For these reasons, this is one of the new investigations lines recently adopted by the group led by Di Croce.
Gloria Lligadas | alfa
Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses
24.04.2017 | Indiana University
Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years
24.04.2017 | University of Oxford
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences