Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Findings Advance Our understanding of Gene Expression

07.03.2008
A research project led by Professor Frank Gannon, Director General of Sciencen Foundation Ireland (SFI), has uncovered new revelations on possible ways to switch genes on and off that impacts on previous understandings of the biological process of how cells interpret their DNA.

Until the research reported in two papers published in today’s prestigious scientific journal - Nature, it had been presumed that in the chemical process of methylation(when a gene is turned on or turned off) a gene was stable and unchangeable.

However, arising from the findings of this research group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg in Germany which included Dr. George Reid, EMBL Professor in Heidelberg, it has been shown that this is not the case and that the methylation process is transient, cyclical and dynamic. This insight came from an approach of synchronising all cells in a population such that variations were made visible.

With the sequencing of the human genome the general public has become very aware that the answer to many diseases lies in our DNA. Crucially, only some of the total possibility of genes are expressed in any given tissue. For example, a protein that is active in a nerve cell is not expressed in the liver. The way in which this is controlled is a complex area that has attracted much research. One fundamental controlling factor is whether the DNA is tagged or modified in the region of a particular gene. This modification (methylation) is important not only in gene expression but also in ensuring that there is the right balance in the level of expression of proteins in different cells. For instance women with two chromosomes have one of these silenced by the same methylation tag such that they have one active X. chromosome as have men. The consequences of an excess level of expression is well know, for instance in Downs Syndrome where an extra chromosome is active.

... more about:
»Chromosome »DNA »Expression »methylation

One paper shows that this is a general phenomenon occurring at many different genes and in many different cell types. The second paper arises predominantly from the work of Raphael Metivier, a former Post Doctoral student of Professor Gannon, carried out in Rennes in France, which shows a mechanism for this newly described phenomenon.

Commenting on the papers, Professor Gannon, said, “ It is a great satisfaction to obtain results which were of the highest standards such that they were accepted in the most discerning journals. More significantly however, the new insights paves the way for research on methods to interfere with the methylation process. As this is central to the expression of genes which are important in cancer and development, it should prove to be a very fruitful area of research”.

Alva O'Cleirigh | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sfi.ie/content/content.asp?section_id=226&language_id=1&publication_id=1650

Further reports about: Chromosome DNA Expression methylation

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia
23.04.2019 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Bacteria use their enemy -- phage -- for 'self-recognition'
23.04.2019 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Control 2019: Fraunhofer IPT presents high-speed microscope with intuitive gesture control

24.04.2019 | Trade Fair News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>