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DNA packaging discovery reveals principles by which CRC mutations may cause cancer
Date:11/16/2012

y CRCs. "Before this research, we thought that the motor was off unless a protein coming from another part of the cell turned it on," said Cairns. "Researchers have been searching for the switch by looking at the CRC motor to see what binds to it.

"As it turns out, we discovered that the CRC motor already carries on its flank a 'switch' that inhibits its action until a marker sequence, located on the nucleosome, is encountered. The marker flips the inhibitor switch and allows the CRC to crank the DNA chain back around the nucleosome, promoting gene packaging and silencing" Cairns said. "Our results change where future researchers should be looking to understand how CRCs are regulatednot at the CRC motor itself, but at the 'switches' that flank the motor."

The study also describes a measuring function on the CRC that checks for the correct distance between one nucleosome and the next, telling the motor to switch off at the proper time, a function needed for gene silencing.

Cairns's lab will now examine this same switching concept in disassembly remodelers. "There are additional remodeler families with alternative functions, like DNA repair," said Cairns. "We think this concept will apply to them as well."


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Contact: Linda Aagard
801-587-7639
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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