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!
'Mushrooms' and 'brushes' help cancer-fighting nanoparticles survive in the body
23.10.2018 | Drexel University
Heredity matters: Ancestral protease functions as protein import motor in chloroplasts
23.10.2018 | Osaka University
A new building material developed at Empa is about to be launched on the market: "memory-steel" can not only be used to reinforce new, but also existing concrete structures. When the material is heated (one-time), prestressing occurs automatically. The Empa spin-off re-fer AG is now presenting the material with shape memory in a series of lectures.
So far, the steel reinforcements in concrete structures are mostly prestressed hydraulically. This re-quires ducts for guiding the tension cables, anchors for...
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
23.10.2018 | Event News
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2018 | Information Technology
23.10.2018 | Life Sciences