Uncovering this signaling pathway will greatly assist scientists in understanding the complex DNA and cell interplay that leads to abnormal cell growth, a hallmark of cancer and other diseases.
The UAB team focused on the pathway that led to deregulation of a protein called H2A and how those changes influenced cell growth. The results are published in the journal Nature.
H2A is a part of a class of proteins called histones, which hold their own code for how the genetic DNA inside cells is used to form tissues, bones and other structures. In the Nature study, a protein was identified that modifies H2A, which in turn regulates normal cell pathways and cell growth.
When the function of this protein was blocked in tadpole embryos, the front-to-back body patterning that happens as they mature was altered, said Hengbin Wang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and lead author on the study.
Wang said the findings show potential in future research to identify biochemical agents or drugs that can target histones and influence cell production.
“Earlier research has looked at whether targeting histones during certain times of biological development will effectively ‘switch on or off’ certain pathways or patterning signals, Wang said. “Putting our finger on this switch would give geneticists, doctors and biochemists unprecedented control in stopping tumor growth and other human diseases.
“This finding goes along way toward helping us understand how histones like H2A are modified in the cell cycle and what that means for normal or abnormal physiological growth,” Wang said.
“One thing we know for sure is that modifying histones is very important to chromatin structure and function,” he said. Chromatin is the DNA and protein mixture that makes up chromosomes, the threadlike structures inside cells that are necessary for reproduction.
Wang’s team included Heui-Yun Joo, Ling Zhai and Chunying Yang of the UAB Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, along with Shuyi Nie and Chenebei Chang of the UAB Department of Cell Biology. Researchers from the molecular biology program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York contributed to the study.
Troy Goodman | EurekAlert!
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine