New molecular link key to cellular proteins involved in cancer progression, other diseases

CHAPEL HILL -- A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists has discovered the molecular mechanism used by cellular proteins that are known to be involved in cell development and progression of diseases including cancer.

In certain cancers, including prostate cancer and lymphomas, members of the Polycomb group (PcG) of proteins appear to abnormally switch genes from on to off, or "silence" them.

The latest work revealed that they do so by placing a small molecule called ubiquitin on a portion of the protein histone H2A, which is tightly associated with DNA.

"This discovery allows greater understanding of how expression of a gene can go awry and may identify a potential target for treatment in certain cancers," said the study's senior author Dr. Yi Zhang, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics in UNC's School of Medicine and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The new findings appear in the online issue of the journal Nature and will be published in print in October.

Within the cell nucleus, DNA is wrapped tightly around nucleosomes, globular structures composed of four abundant proteins called histones, Zhang said.

"Histone proteins, including H2A, are important in two ways. One is to package genomic material into the nucleus and the other is to regulate processes involving DNA including gene expression, or transcription."

In 1975, histone H2A was the first molecule ever described to be ubiquitinated, or modified by the attachment of the protein ubiquitin, but neither the consequence of H2A ubiquitination nor the molecules responsible were known.

Now, 29 years later, work by Zhang and colleagues has provided answers to both questions.

"Since Polycomb-group proteins have been previously linked to cancer, we anticipate that the ubiquitination of histone H2A will also be linked to some types of cancer," said Zhang.

By dividing human cellular extract into smaller

Contact: L.H. Lang
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Bacteria use molecular lasso to cop copper
2. UCLA molecular biologists uproot the tree of life
3. UCSD researchers are first to demonstrate molecular link between inflammation and cancer
4. Briggs takes to the molecular level Darwins findings on plants sensing the direction of light
5. Scientists identify molecular link driving spread of skin cancer
6. Study suggests first molecular target to halt spread of HPV
7. UNC scientists discover molecular pathway leading to nerve growth and regeneration
8. Innovative efforts target epigenetics, molecular imaging
9. Scientists discover molecular target for treatment of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia
10. Proteins transform DNA into molecular velcro
11. Yale scientists visualize molecular detail of RNA splicing complex

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/23/2017)... public,s help is being enlisted in what,s thought to be the biggest ... human body –and are believed to affect health.  ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is the largest study to date ... project's goal is to help advance scientific knowledge of the role of ... The ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... June 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking ... supplier of face and eye tracking software, became ... provider program. "Artificial intelligence and ... to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on ... able to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro ... of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held ... Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced ... by which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents ... ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell ... limbs saved as compared to standard bone marrow ... HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments ... consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis services for ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: