Navigation Links
Enzyme controls transport of genomic building blocks

Our DNA and its architecture are duplicated every time our cells divide. Histone proteins are key building blocks of this architecture and contain crucial information that regulates our genes. Danish researchers show how an enzyme controls reliable and high-speed delivery of histones to DNA copying hubs in our cells. This shuttling mechanism is crucial to maintain normal function of our genes and prevent disease. The results are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Interdisciplinary research team finds cellular high-speed shuttle

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from BRIC, University of Copenhagen and University of Southern Denmark have identified a cellular transport mechanism so fast and finely tuned that it compares to an Asian fast-speed train.

"Using advanced laboratory techniques, we have revealed how an enzyme called TLK1 regulates the transport of histones to DNA copying hubs in our cells. Such a devoted supply of histones, is crucial to maintain the genomic architecture when our cells divide", says Ilnaz Klimovskaia who has been spearheading the experimental work as part of her PhD-studies at BRIC.

The new results show that TLK1 controls the activity of a molecule called Asf1. Asf1 act as a freight train that transports histones to the nuclei of our cells where the DNA is copied during cell divisions. The enzymatic activity of TLK1 turn Asf1 into a fast-speed train, capable of precise, fast and timely transport of histones to newly formed DNA.

TLK1 contribute to cellular identity

Histones play an important role for the activity of our genes, as they contain information that can turn on or off genes. The information is communicated only when DNA is wrapped around the histones, to form the ordered genomic architecture called chromatin. As all our cells contain exactly the same genes, the histone information is crucial to activate only the sub-set of genes necessary to maintain a certain cellular identity. For example, heart genes needs only to be turned on in heart cells, but turned off in other cell types.

"We show that TLK can boost the supply of histones at critical time points. By controlling the transport of histones to our DNA, TLK and Asf1 ensure that the chromatin architecture and its information are copied correctly during cell division, so that cell identity is maintained", explains Ilnaz Klimovskaia.

Loss of chromatin integrity in cancer development

A tight coordination between DNA duplication and supply of major chromatin building blocks like histones, are crucial to maintain normal function of our cells. If the chromatin architecture is wrong, it can affect both gene expression as well as the stability of our DNA. Together, this is a dangerous cocktail that might fuel cellular changes and lead to cancer development.

"Our research adds a new layer to the understanding of how chromatin is maintained when cells in our body divides. This information is crucial to understand how cells maintain their identity and protect their genome, which is essential to avoid cancer development", says associate professor Anja Groth, who has been heading the research team.

The next step for the research team is to dig deeper into the understanding of how chromatin duplication is controlled. The team is also exploring whether targeting of the TLK enzyme could be useful in cancer therapy, as they speculate that reducing the supply of histones in highly dividing cancer cells, might make tumor cells more vulnerable to already existing cancer drugs.


Contact: Katrine Sonne-Hansen
University of Copenhagen

Related biology news :

1. Penn biologists identify a key enzyme involved in protecting nerves from degeneration
2. New immune defense enzyme discovered
3. Genzyme/ACMG Foundation Genetics Training Award in Clinical Biochemical Genetics announced
4. ORNL process improves catalytic rate of enzymes by 3,000 percent
5. Scientists discover enzyme that could slow part of the aging process in astronauts -- and the elderly
6. New screening technique yields elusive compounds to block immune-regulating enzyme
7. UCLA scientists discover how key enzyme involved in aging, cancer assembles
8. Is it a rock, or is it Jell-O? Defining the architecture of rhomboid enzymes
9. Brain enzyme is double whammy for Alzheimers disease
10. Ancient enzymes function like nanopistons to unwind RNA
11. Remarkable enzyme points the way to reducing nitric acid use in industry
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Enzyme controls transport of genomic building blocks
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  The J. Craig ... report titled, "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and ... Department of Health and Human Services guidance for synthetic ... 2010. --> --> ... also has the potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , October 29, 2015 ... authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to discover ... the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial for this ... ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica ... on AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying ... looking to make early stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the ... results for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. ... dollars and presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ... ," said Andrew Rae , President & ... are not only value enriching for this clinical ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & Services (Primer, ... Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic ... the market is expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million ... a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... AVIV, Israel , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: ... held on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel ... Co., Electra Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, ... election of Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to ... and Rami Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment ...
Breaking Biology Technology: