Navigation Links
USC researchers discover key aspect of process that activates breast cancer genes
Date:11/15/2011

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered key processes by which estrogen, the female sex hormone, activates genes in breast-cancer cells. Greater understanding of how this occurs is expected to eventually lead to new treatments for the disease.

Michael R. Stallcup, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Keck School's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was the senior author, and Kwang Won Jeong, Ph.D., a postdoctoral student in Stallcup's lab, was the first author of the paper, "Recognition of enhancer element-specific histone methylation by TIP60 in transcriptional activation." It was published online in the research journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology on Nov. 13.

The researchers found that a protein, TIP60, recognizes when a common chemical process called methylation occurs in chromatin, the material that enfolds all genes. Methylation controls how genes are folded in the complex structure of chromatin, which determines whether the genes are active or inactive. The researchers discovered that after recognizing the methylation signal, TIP60 then binds to the signal, connecting TIP60 to the chromatin and then changing the chromatin's structure, which helps to activate the gene. The methylation that TIP60 recognizes is generated by another protein, MLL1.

"It's like when you're in your car and come to a red light," said Stallcup. "The light doesn't make you stop, but it is a signal that you have to interpret and then decide to stop. In this case, the methylation modification that TIP60 recognizes is one of those signals, and then TIP60 acts on that signal."

The findings build upon previous work of Stallcup's lab. Earlier published research revealed that the methylation of chromatin and other proteins plays many important roles in controlling the activities of genes.

While the recent findings are significant, Stallcup stressed that there is much more to be discovered.

"We want to understand more about other steps in the process of gene activation," Stallcup said. "In particular, we're interested in the function of the MLL1 protein because we think it plays a key role in controlling chromatin structure and folding, which we think is critical for activation of genes by estrogen."

Stallcup also noted that estrogen regulates just a few hundred of the tens of thousands of genes in every human cell, but that the research has broader implications.

"While the process we're studying is the regulation of gene activity by estrogen, the findings have potentially global significance,,because the methylation modification of chromatin that TIP60 recognizes is found in all active and potentially active genes in human cells," Stallcup said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alison Trinidad
alison.trinidad@usc.edu
323-442-3941
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers confirm new cancer-causing virus
2. Researchers get $7.5M grant to combat nerve agents
3. Researchers uncover why the body cant defend against tuberculosis
4. Results triple researchers projections with use of adult stem cells for heart failure
5. Researchers develop more effective way to discover and test potential cancer drugs
6. Researchers closer to the super bug puzzle
7. Einstein researchers discover key to cell specialization
8. 200 thousand dollars awarded to genomics researchers to spark new research technology development
9. Becoming part of global, shoestring team requires researchers only to play fair, share
10. Pitt researchers develop eButton, an easier way to monitor food intake, exercise, and lifestyle
11. Berkeley Lab researchers create first of its kind gene map of sulfate-reducing bacterium
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the company ... technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John ... Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ... Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler ... mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie ... die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, Utah ... (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics ... the launch of a project to establish the informatics ... NSO has been contracted by the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly ... technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is ... manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new ... prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: