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New Finding Suggests "HATs" Are Key To Gene Activation Puzzle

le in transcription.

"These findings suggest a distinct mechanism by which gene activation is occurring: The cell's transcriptional apparatus has chromatin-unfolding properties," says Mizzen. "This is the closest we've come yet to understanding how genes are activated through chromatin unfolding, and I expect that within the next two years we'll have a clearer understanding of this process."

The importance of this HAT is bolstered by its remarkable similarity among species ranging from yeast to humans, Allis says. "Such evolutionary conservation is usually the hallmark of key proteins."

The finding builds on work done in Allis' laboratory over the past year. In March, the group announced in a paper published in Cell that they had cloned and sequenced a HAT; a later paper in Nature explained how the enzyme modifies histones.

The Rochester researchers were joined by Xiang-Jiao Yang, Tetsuro Kokubo, and Yoshihiro Nakatani at the NIH. Researchers at Cambridge University in England, Penn State, and the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia also contributed.


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Contact: Steve Bradt
sbradt@admin.rochester.edu
716-273-4726
University of Rochester
27-Dec-1996


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