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A question of gene silencing
Date:8/24/2011

ly results in another functioning gene that is transcribed into RNA molecules. The Heidelberg researchers therefore used a trick: The repair proteins are also able to integrate small DNA segments when mending the two ends. Therefore, the molecular biologists integrated a signaling sequence at the site where the gene was cut. This sequence causes the RNA transcript of this gene to be broken down at once so that it is not available for any cellular functions. The resulting changes in cellular biology can then be analyzed comprehensively.

"We are now able, for the first time, to completely silence the non-protein-coding genes and thus study their molecular and cellular functions," said Sven Diederichs when explaining the goal of his research approach. "It is very likely that these genes play an important role in cancer development. We are sure it is not by chance that they are so very active particularly in tumor cells.


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Contact: Dr. Sibylle Kohlstdt
s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

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