Navigation Links
New piece found in the puzzle of epigenetics
Date:6/16/2009

This release is available in German.

For many years scientists have known that the numerous biological functions of an organism are not regulated solely by the DNA sequence of its genes: Superordinate regulatory mechanisms exist that contribute to determining the fate of genes. Although they are not anchored in the DNA, they can even be passed on to subsequent generations to a certain extent. Intensive research in recent years has shown that these mechanisms bundled under the term epigenetics, are very multifaceted and complex.

Professor Dirk Eick and staff members of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology and Tumor Genetics of Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen, together with colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA, have now identified another piece in the puzzle of epigenetics: They showed that the enzyme TFIIH kinase is involved in epigenetic regulation.

The scientists were interested in the fine regulation of the cell nucleus enzyme RNA polymerase II. This transcribes the genetic information of the genetic substance DNA into messenger RNA - mRNA for short which in turn is the basis for protein synthesis. At the same time RNA polymerase II is also responsible for the production of other kinds of RNA molecules, the so-called snRNA, which are not translated into proteins but take on other tasks. In prior research Eick and his colleagues had observed that a certain region of the RNA polymerase II enzyme the carboxy-terminal domain is involved in deciding which kinds of RNA are formed. In humans this domain consists of 52 repeats of a sequence of seven amino acids. For RNA synthesis the determining factor is whether and how specific amino acids of this region are modified biochemically. Thus, it is absolutely essential for the synthesis of snRNA that the amino acid serine at position 7 of this repeat sequence is provided with an additional phosphate group. If this is lacking, mRNA will be produced, but not any snRNA. The reason for that is presumably that this phosphorylation enables the interaction with a protein complex the so-called integrator complex which is necessary for snRNA formation. In other words, the modification of the enzyme RNA polymerase II at defined positions regulates whether this enzyme can produce certain kinds of RNA molecules or not.

In their latest research, the scientists led by Dirk Eick showed that the enzyme TFIIH kinase is responsible for the selective phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II. "With these findings another building block has been identified that plays a key role in epigenetic regulation by means of RNA polymerase II," Professor Eick said. "This is of great significance because knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms is necessary in order to better understand cancer and other diseases and to be able to provide more targeted treatment."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sven Winkler
sven.winkler@helmholtz-muenchen.de
49-089-318-73946
Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers uncover new piece to the puzzle of human height
2. Iowa State researchers help piece together the corn genomes first draft
3. Hopkins researchers piece together gene network linked to schizophrenia
4. Researchers solve piece of large-scale gene silencing mystery
5. Missing piece of plant clock found
6. Learning how the pieces responsible for interpreting the human genome work
7. Aerosol: A key piece of the climate change puzzle
8. Key to out-of-control immune response in lung injury found
9. Natural chemical found in broccoli helps combat skin blistering disease
10. Balzan Foundation announces 2007 winners
11. Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that the latest release ... flexible and award winning eClinical solution, is now available ... is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clinical research technology platform ... also delivers an entire suite of eClinical tools to ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... LONG BEACH, New York , February 7, 2017 ... formerly known as ID Global Solutions Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ... identification, identity management and electronic transaction processing services, is ... a reorganization of the Company. Effective January ... Chairman of the Board of Directors, CEO and President. ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... , Feb. 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research Institute ... Larry Schlesinger as the Institute,s new President ... Biomed effective May 31, 2017. He is currently the Chair ... of the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio State ... as the new President and CEO of Texas Biomed," said ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Island, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... rate. Founded in late 2014, FireflySci had the goal of bringing their powerful ... that goal continues to shape the path that FireflySci is going on as they ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... leading digital health company, and Digital Noema ... and remote patient monitoring, announce they are partnering ... DN Telehealth maximizes collaboration compatibility for ... consultations beyond a physical clinical setting to include ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017  MIODx announced today that it has ... technologies from the University of California, San Francisco ... monitor a patient for response to immune checkpoint ... second license extends the technology with a method ... have an immune-related adverse event (IRAE) from their ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... novo clearance to begin marketing the SPEAC® System, the Brain Sentinel® Seizure Monitoring ... home or in healthcare facilities during periods of rest. A lightweight, non-invasive monitor ...
Breaking Biology Technology: