Navigation Links
New revelations in epigenetic control shed light on breast cancer
Date:3/5/2008

Epigenetic regulation modifications to the structure of chromatin that influence which genes are expressed in a cell is a key player in embryonic development and cancer formation. Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory [EMBL] in Heidelberg now gained new insight into one crucial epigenetic mechanism and reveal that it acts much faster than assumed. In this week's issue of Nature they report that estrogen causes rapid epigenetic changes in breast cancer cells. The new findings impact upon our understanding of how cells interpret their DNA and suggest that epigenetic regulation can affect gene expression immediately and long-term.

Epigenetic changes to the structure of chromatin tightly packaged DNA - grant or deny access to the molecular machinery that transcribes DNA and thereby regulate gene expression. One of these mechanisms is DNA methylation, where a small chemical residue called a methyl group is added to strategic bases on the DNA. The methyl group prevents the transcription machinery from docking and thereby shuts down gene expression. For a long time scientists have considered methylation a mechanism of long-term regulation of a gene's activity, because the methylation marks are stable and maintained through cellular replication.

EMBL researchers of the group of Frank Gannon, current director of the Science Foundation Ireland, now found out that methylation marks occur rapidly in breast cancer cells in response to hormones such as estrogen or drug compounds. Estrogen withdrawal or treatment with the established anticancer drug doxorubicin cause the methyl groups to be removed from regulatory regions of specific genes within tens of minutes in human breast cancer cells. The treatment sets off a whole cycle of events: initial demethylation renders silent genes active and subsequent remethylation shuts them down again. This cycle repeats itself every 1.5 hours.

"We observed that unlike assumed for a long time methylation can act on a very short timescale. The results challenge our understanding of epigenetics as a means to regulate gene expression permanently," says Sara Kangaspeska, who carried out the research together with Brenda Stride.

The new insights into the cyclical nature of methylation might shed light on the molecular bases of cancer and development, both processes involving epigenetic mechanisms.

"In particular breast cancer is affected by estrogen signalling and changes in epigenetic control," says George Reid, co-senior author of the study. "Our next step will be to find small molecules that target the cyclical methylation processes to elucidate their precise role."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna-Lynn Wegener
wegener@embl.de
49-622-139-7452
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Chromatin remodeling complex connected to DNA damage control
2. More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
3. New Asthma Guidelines Stress Disease Control
4. UI nursing researcher to study post-operative pain control
5. Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Highest Among Hispanics, Prompting New Hypertension Project in San Antonio
6. Hispanics hypertension better controlled with equal access to care
7. Detroit Metro Tower Air Traffic Controllers File Lawsuit Alleging Improper Mold Removal and Health Effects
8. Maternal depression and controlling behavior associated with increased stress response in infants
9. New Website Helps Women Be Fit, Sexy and in Control!
10. Controlling for size may also prevent cancer
11. Cancer control in Europe works; now it is time to extend it to poorer countries
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... ... The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) hosted the ... Aug. 19, 2017 in Atlanta, GA—revealing which 25 designs won Gold and which 52 ... See all the winners at http://www.idsa.org/awards/idea/gallery . , “I hope you’re as excited ...
(Date:8/20/2017)... ... August 20, 2017 , ... State Farm Neighborhood Assist® has named The ... a $25,000 grant. If the initiative wins, Gals Lead – Dream Queen Foundation’s signature ... Tri-County area of St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles Counties. The program could potentially impact ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Western University of Health Sciences will host a special ... new Center for Innovation on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. , The symposium will be ... by a technology exhibition from 1 to 3 p.m. showcasing virtual reality education technology, ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... New York, New York (PRWEB) , ... August ... ... Fruit Street Health has announced that it is the first organization with pending ... the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (“DPP”) via group telehealth classes and live ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... , ... Yesterday, the President of the United States retracted his condemnation of ... not two sides to hatred, bigotry, discrimination, and a white supremacy nationalist agenda. ... against all forms of such hatred and discrimination in this country and globally. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/17/2017)... -- MJAC2017 , the premier cannabis event devoted to ... its leading lineup. MJAC2017 is proud ... specializing in the development of pharmaceutical and consumer products, will ... The Green Organic Dutchman are gold sponsors for the event, ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , Aug. 15, 2017   Mostyn Law and Gulf ... Houston, Texas . The Mostyn Law family ... 2 years. That is why Mostyn Law is partnering ... to show its appreciation. Blood supplies are running ... 5% short of hospital needs in August. That is why the ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... AccuGenomics, Inc., a diagnostic company based in ... the company has provided an AccuKit to the HIV ... Chapel Hill and to Qura Therapeutics for evaluation in ... HIV reservoir and viral expression in human CD4+ T ... Center is a joint initiative between the University of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: