The protein, called AML1, plays a critical role in the development of the blood system and in the production of platelets and immune cells. The findings are published in the March 1, 2008, issue of Genes & Development.
According to the study, investigators identified the methyltransferase enzyme that controls the activity of the normal AML1 protein – also called RUNX1 – demonstrating its ability to regulate the function of transcription factors, proteins that control cell fate by turning genes on or off. The researchers found that the cellular pathways that regulate the activity of the normal AML1 protein through a process called arginine methylation cannot similarly regulate the activity of AML1-ETO, a protein associated with causing acute leukemia.
Methylation is the process by which methyltransferases catalyze the attachment of a methyl group to DNA or protein in order to regulate gene expression or protein function. Demethylase enzymes that remove methyl groups from proteins have only recently been discovered.
“By manipulating the activity of these enzymes, it may be possible to promote the activity of the normal protein, and thereby lessen the impact of the protein that promotes leukemia,” said the study’s senior author Stephen D. Nimer, MD, Chief of the Hematology Service at MSKCC. “We are just beginning to explore whether we can tilt the balance toward a normally functioning AML1 protein in leukemic cells and either trigger their death or their reversion to normal behavior.”
There are currently no available drugs that target protein methylation, although two drugs that target DNA methylation are FDA approved for treating patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.
“We hope to utilize these new findings to help develop and ultimately test new treatment strategies for patients with either myeloid or lymphoid types of acute leukemia,” said the study’s first author, Xinyang Zhao, a member of Dr. Nimer’s laboratory.
Dr. Nimer has been researching the AML1-ETO protein at MSKCC since 1993. He and his colleagues first demonstrated in 1995 that AML1-ETO functions as a transcriptional repressor and dominantly inhibits AML1 function.
Esther Napolitano | EurekAlert!
Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria
22.03.2019 | Harvard University
Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack
22.03.2019 | Rice University
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Information Technology