Navigation Links
Work with fungus uncovering keys to DNA methylation

Researchers in a University of Oregon lab have shed more light on the mechanism that regulates DNA methylation, a fundamental biological process in which a methyl group is attached to DNA, the genetic material in cells of living organisms.

DNA methylation is essential for normal growth and development in plants and animals. It has been implicated in long-term memory, and irregularities in its process are associated with diseases such as cancer.

In the UO's Institute of Molecular Biology, Eric U. Selker and members of his laboratory use a quickly reproducing and easy-to-manipulate fungus, Neurospora crassa, to explore the control of DNA methylation. Neurospora is considered the simplest model organism for such research.

Reporting in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Genes & Development, Selker and Keyur K. Adhvaryu, a postdoctoral researcher in the Selker lab, document that the enzyme protein phosphatase PP1 is necessary for normal methylation of DNA.

In the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, DNA is wrapped around histone proteins to form chromatin, and one histone, H3, turns out to be critical for DNA methylation. "It was long thought that histones were simply structural proteins, but we are learning that these proteins are also informational," Selker said.

This was demonstrated in the journal Nature in 2001 by Selker and his former postdoctoral research associate Hisashi Tamaru. They found that a protein required for DNA methylation, DIM-5, is an enzyme that adds a methyl group onto lysine 9 of histone H3. "This was the first solid indication that chromatin is important for DNA methylation," Selker said.

The new paper by Adhvaryu and Selker shows that PP1 is important to remove phosphates attached to serine 10 of H3, the site immediately adjacent to the site that DIM-5 needs to methylate, leading to DNA methylation.

In an accompanying article in the same issue of Genes & Development, Wolfgang Fischle, a biochemist at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, praises the findings of Selker and Adhvaryu. He writes that there appears to be extensive "crosstalk" involved in the chemical modifications that occur on histones to influence other enzymes that interact with chromatin "Adhvaryu and Selker provide novel insights into an intricate regulatory network involving histone phosphorylation, histone methylation and DNA methylation," he noted.

"DNA methylation seems to be a luxury item in Neurospora, which means we can manipulate it as we wish, making mutants that don't do it and thereby identify important players," Selker said. "We are identifying how DNA methylation is controlled and what it does in this organism. Our assumption is that a lot of what we find in Neurospora will be applicable to other systems."

In this case, Selker said, Keyur demonstrated very nicely, in a couple different ways, that protein phosphatase PP1 is required for normal DNA methylation. "DNA methylation is involved in a silencing of invasive DNA as well as a variety of normal genes, including those on the inactive X chromosome, those subjected to imprinting, and well as tumor suppressor genes," he said, adding that methylation of the latter class of genes can lead to cancer.


Contact: Jim Barlow
University of Oregon

Related medicine news :

1. Photo: Scientists Complete Genome Sequence of Fungus Responsible for Dandruff, Skin Disorders
2. Active compounds found in Ganoderma lucidum fungus with potential to treat prostate cancer
3. Fungus Sheds Light on Development of Human Genders
4. Fighting a Fungus That Thrives on Tomatoes
5. Innate immune system targets asthma-linked fungus for destruction
6. New topical approach to treating nail fungus circumvents problems with current therapy
7. UNCOVERING THE TRUTH - A Town Hall Meeting on Mental Health Parity
8. Uncovering the Achilles heel of the HIV-1 envelope
9. Under Wraps: Uncovering the Secrets and Lies of the Holiday Season
10. Mouse model highlights histone methylation as distinguishing feature for leukemia subtypes
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Work with fungus uncovering keys to DNA methylation
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... November 27th edition of USA Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South ... 750,000. The digital component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed ... 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or ... to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today that they have ... as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ERP software, the ... experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing commitment to the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Minn. (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... start failing. Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the needs ... income protection solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. However, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College ... Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD ... colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 AAIPharma ... de geplande investering aan van ten minste ... laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra ... de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ... Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is expected ... and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda SyMRI för ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) ... med SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda ... sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man generera flera ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: