Navigation Links
Study helps bring genome's 'dark matter' into light
Date:9/18/2013

Using technology he helped develop, Vanderbilt University scientist Bryan Venters, Ph.D., has shed new light on the "dark matter" of the genome and has begun to explore a possible new approach to treating cancer.

"Clarity is everything," said Venters, assistant professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics who further developed the high-resolution technology as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Frank Pugh, Ph.D., at Pennsylvania State University before moving to Vanderbilt in January.

Venters and Pugh are co-authors of a paper published this week in the journal Nature that describes their finding.

Much of the DNA of the human genome has been called "dark matter" because only a tiny fraction, about 3 percent, makes up the approximately 20,000 protein-coding genes that are transcribed into RNA copies, and then translated into proteins.

Other parts of the genome are transcribed into non-coding RNA, presumably to perform other functions, but until recently the origin of this non-coding RNA was unknown.

Now, with a technique called ChIP-exo developed at Penn State that identifies protein-DNA interactions at near base-pair resolution, Venters and Pugh have shown that so-called transcription initiation complexes drive much of the non-coding transcription occurring throughout the genome.

In a model leukemia cell line, they discovered about 150,000 complexes along non-coding stretches of the DNA the most ever discovered. This suggests, they concluded, that "pervasive non-coding transcription is promoter-specific, regulated, and not that much different from coding transcription (of genes)."

Venters compared the technique to the highly sensitive satellite cameras that enable web-based map applications to zoom in from a continental view to street level, "and tell house from house."

Now he is using the technique to study "the contribution that the JAK-STAT (signaling) pathway makes to the transformation and proliferation of leukemia cells how the STAT regulatory network dovetails with other oncogenic signaling pathways."

Venters hopes this "high-resolution mapping technique" will enable him to identify at the transcription level the "points of convergence" between different pathways, and thus potential "vulnerability points" that could be targeted with more effective drugs than current therapies.

That's why he came to Vanderbilt, he said, because of the "collegiality" and "proximity to patients and clinicians."

"I wanted my research to be medically relevant and I wanted to make an impact in therapeutic treatments," Venters said. "To me, Vanderbilt is the perfect place to do that."


'/>"/>

Contact: Craig Boerner
craig.boerner@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
3. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
4. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
5. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
6. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
7. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
8. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
9. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
10. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
11. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial ... Bready , M.D., who returned to the company in ... leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver ... Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Massachusetts , March 22, 2016 ... facial recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... ), a leading provider of secure digital communications services, ... their biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those ... secure facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... MELBOURNE, Florida , March 14, 2016 ... on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of ... York channels starting the week of March 21 st . ... and CNBC, including its popular Squawk on the Street show. ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Doctors in Italy, Japan, the ... on the BRCA-1 associated protein (BAP1) gene and its link to malignant mesothelioma. Surviving ... here to read the full article now. , The studies analyzed for the ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016  Agriculture nutrients are ... Des Moines, Iowa is running their nitrate ... Lake Erie and coastal regions nationwide ... to preventing this widespread issue. NECi Superior ... Upper Peninsula, developed a new, easy to use ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... 2016 Despite the volatility that continues ... space. Today,s pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com directs the investor community,s ... RDUS ), Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS ... Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX ). Register ... http://www.activewallst.com/ On Wednesday, shares in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... FireflySci has been manufacturing quartz and glass ... the globe. Their cute firefly logo has been spreading to more and more ... calibration standards that never require recalibration. These revolutionary standards have changed many ...
Breaking Biology Technology: