Navigation Links
Biologists' discovery may force revision of biology textbooks
Date:8/18/2011

Basic biology textbooks may need a bit of revising now that biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a never-before-noticed component of our basic genetic material.

According to the textbooks, chromatin, the natural state of DNA in the cell, is made up of nucleosomes. And nucleosomes are the basic repeating unit of chromatin.

When viewed by a high powered microscope, nucleosomes look like beads on a string (photo at right). But in the August 19th issue of the journal Molecular Cell, UC San Diego biologists report their discovery of a novel chromatin particle halfway between DNA and a nucleosome (photo at left). While it looks like a nucleosome, they say, it is in fact a distinct particle of its own.

"This novel particle was found as a precursor to a nucleosome," said James Kadonaga, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the research team and calls the particle a "pre-nucleosome." "These findings suggest that it is necessary to reconsider what chromatin is. The pre-nucleosome is likely to be an important player in how our genetic material is duplicated and used."

The biologists say that while the pre-nucleosome may look something like a nucleosome under the microscope, biochemical tests have shown that it is in reality halfway between DNA and a nucleosome.

These pre-nucleosomes, the researchers say, are converted into nucleosomes by a motor protein that uses the energy molecule ATP (see graphic).

"The discovery of pre-nucleosomes suggests that much of chromatin, which has been generally presumed to consist only of nucleosomes, may be a mixture of nucleosomes and pre-nucleosomes," said Kadonaga. "So, this discovery may be the beginning of a revolution in our understanding of what chromatin is."

"The packaging of DNA with histone proteins to form chromatin helps stabilize chromosomes and plays an important role in regulating gene activities and DNA replication," said Anthony Carter, who oversees chromatin grants at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research. "The discovery of a novel intermediate DNA-histone complex offers intriguing insights into the nature of chromatin and may help us better understand how it impacts these key cellular processes."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kim McDonald
kmcdonald@ucsd.edu
858-534-7572
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Team led by IU biologists confirms sunflower domesticated in US, not Mexico
2. Open minded and open access: NeoBiota, a new publishing platform for invasion biologists
3. Plant biologists dissect genetic mechanism enabling plants to overcome environmental challenge
4. Cell biologists hail stem cell decision
5. Software helps synthetic biologists customize protein production
6. Biologists discover an evening protein complex that regulates plant growth
7. Purdue biologists identify new strategy used by bacteria during infection
8. New curation tool a boon for genetic biologists
9. 2 UC Davis plant biologists named as HHMI-GBMF investigators
10. Announcing BIOLOGY OPEN from the Company of Biologists
11. Manage biological invasions like natural disasters, biologists say
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(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: ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... April 24, 2017 Janice Kephart ... with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today ... without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive ... , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, ... now, all refugee applications are suspended by until ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... States (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... for venous leg ulcers is now being assessed in clinical trials in the ... trial please talk to your nurse or physician or find your nearest participating ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Dr. Greg Leyer, Chief ... NV on September 27th. His presentation is at 12:10pm in the Probiotics Resource Center, ... present at SupplySide West and discuss how probiotics have shown impressive data in areas ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... Each relaunch of the portal includes new features that facilitate streamlined and compliant ... seek to remain at the forefront of medical advancements, they rely on efficiencies ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Today, BioPharma Institute, a ... the addition of 5 new courses to its prospectus. These include the eagerly-awaited ... CFR Part 11 on Electronic Records and Electronic Signatures (Part 11 of Title ...
Breaking Biology Technology: