Navigation Links
Study gives clue as to how notes are played on the genetic piano
Date:5/12/2011

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, U.S.A. (May 12, 2011) Japanese and U.S. scientists in the young field of epigenetics Thursday reported a rationale as to how specific genes are silenced and others are not. Because this effect can be reversed, it may be possible to devise therapies for cancer and other diseases using this information.

The NOVA U.S. public television program described epigenetics as "The Ghost In Your Genes." It is the study of changes in gene expression that occur without changes in DNA sequence. Like keys on a piano, DNA is the static blueprint for all the proteins that cells produce. Epigenetic information provides additional dynamic or flexible instructions as to how, where and when the blueprint will be used. "It corresponds to a pianist playing a piece of music," said Kohzoh Mitsuya, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.

Article in Science

The study by Dr. Mitsuya and colleagues is outlined in the May 13 issue of the journal Science. The team found that a small RNA pathway is required to establish an epigenetic modification called DNA methylation at a gene that codes for mammalian proteins. DNA methylation adds chemical tags called methyl groups to specific genes, usually silencing their expression.

"DNA methylation marks are reversible, so there is great interest in devising therapeutic strategies, for instance in cancer biology, to epigenetically reactivate silenced tumor-suppressor genes or inactivate specific oncogenes in human cancer cells," Dr. Mitsuya, the Science paper's third author, said. The lead author is Toshiaki Watanabe, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Genetics in Japan and Yale University.

Environment and cancer

Beyond being reversible, DNA methylation is susceptible to environmental influences. Many cancer biologists now agree that changes in DNA methylation might be as important as genetic mutations in causing cancer. There are far more epigenetic changes than genetic changes found in the majority of cancers, and research into epigenetics is proving to be important to understanding cancer biology.

"It is critical to identify the entire complement of factors that affect gene silencing," Dr. Mitsuya said. "This was the rationale behind this study examining DNA methylation in mice that I began in 2004. The study adds information about one set of factors."

A finger on the piano

The researchers compared a group of normal mice with a group lacking the small RNA species. The team found that DNA methylation was markedly reduced at one of four genes tested in the small RNA-deficient mice. "This is the first demonstration that small RNAs can act in this way," Dr. Mitsuya said. "It shows how one note is played on the piano."

Epigenetic activity is a previously unseen dimension of biology that may enable clearer detection of disease, monitoring of progression and improved treatment, and may provide entirely new biomarkers of disease susceptibility. "The symphony has only just come into view," Dr. Mitsuya said. "We can hear it, but we need to learn how all the parts are being played."


'/>"/>

Contact: Will Sansom
sansom@uthscsa.edu
210-567-2579
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study gives clue as to how notes are played on the genetic piano
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors ... customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel ... style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader ... two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. ... way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand ... new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is ... The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to ... leaders in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has ... the world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... firsts,: , TwinLink™ - the first dual ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast majority ... outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a ... per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and wait ... but especially grueling for patients who are elderly and ... skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Experian ... integrating and transforming the patient payment and ... several innovative new products and services that ... its revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning solutions ... efficient workflows, remain compliant in an ever-changing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: