Navigation Links
A Novel Technique Nudges Genes Into Activity

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a new technique that employs RNA, a tiny chemical cousin of DNA, to turn on genes could lead to therapeutics// for conditions in which nudging a gene awake would help alleviate disease. This gene-activating method provides researchers with a novel research tool to investigate the role that genes play in human health.

In a paper appearing online at Nature Chemical Biology and in an upcoming edition of the journal, lead author Dr. Bethany Janowski, assistant professor of pharmacology at UT Southwestern, and her colleagues describe how they activated certain genes in cultured cells using strands of RNA to perturb the delicately balanced mixture of proteins that surround chromosomal DNA, proteins that control whether genes are turned on or off.

Dr. David Corey, professor of pharmacology and the paper’s senior author, said the results are significant because they demonstrate the most effective and consistent method to date for coaxing genes into making the proteins that carry out all of life’s functions – a process formally called gene expression.

In any medical specialty, Dr. Janowski said, there are conditions where increased gene expression would prove beneficial.

"In some disease states, it’s not that gene expression is completely turned off, but rather, the levels of expression are lower than they should be," she said. As a result, there is an inadequate amount of a particular protein in the body. "If we can bring the level up a few notches, we might actually treat or cure the disease," Dr. Janowski said.

For example, some genes are natural tumor suppressors, and using this method to selectively activate those genes might help the body fend off cancer, Dr. Janowski said.

Genes are segments of DNA housed in chromosomes in the nucleus of every cell and they carry instructions for making proteins. Faulty or mutated genes lead to malfunctioning, missin g or over-abundant proteins, and any of those conditions can result in disease.

Surrounding the chromosome is a cloud of proteins that helps determine whether or not a particular gene’s instructions are "read" and "copied" to strands of messenger RNA, which then ferry the plans to protein-making "factories" in the cell.

In its experiments, the UT Southwestern team used strands of RNA that were tailor-made to complement the DNA sequence of a specific gene in isolated breast cancer cells. Once the RNA was introduced into the protein mix, the gene was activated, ultimately resulting in a reduced rate of growth in the cancer cells.

Dr. Corey said that while it’s clear the activating effects of the new technique are occurring at the chromosome level, and not at the messenger RNA level, more research is needed to understand the exact mechanism.

Although the RNA strands the researchers introduced – dubbed antigene RNA – were manufactured, Dr. Corey said the process by which they interact with the chromosome appears to mimic what naturally happens in the body.

"One of the reasons why these synthetic strands work so well is that we’re just adapting a natural mechanism to help deliver a man-made molecule," Dr. Corey said. "We’re working with nature, rather than against it."

Drs. Corey’s and Janowski’s current results are built on previous work, published in 2005 in Nature Chemical Biology, in which they found that RNA strands could turn off gene expression at the chromosome level.

The new UT Southwestern research, coupled with that from 2005, demonstrates a shift away from conventional thinking about how gene expression is naturally controlled, as well as how scientists might be able to exploit the process to develop new drug targets, Dr. Corey said.

For example, current methods to block gene expression, such as RNA interference, rely on using RNA strands to intercept and bind with messenger RNA . While RNA interference is an effective tool for studying gene expression, Dr. Janowski said, it’s more efficient to use RNA to control both activation and de-activation at the level of the chromosome.

"It goes right to the source, right to the faucet to turn the genes on or off," she said.

Dr. Corey said many researchers have the ingrained idea that RNA only targets other RNA – such as what occurs when messenger RNA is targeted during RNA interference. "That’s what everyone is familiar with," he said. "But the idea of RNA being used as a sort of nucleic acid modulator of chromosomes, at the level of the chromosome itself, is novel and unexpected, and it’s going to take some getting used to."

Source-Euekalert
SRI
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Novel "CYCLOSPORINE CAPSULE FORMULATION" to be launched
2. Novel biopsy technique for prostate cancer
3. Novel computer model for breast cancer
4. Novel research on liver cancer
5. Novel way to fight cancer
6. Novel test for bowel cancer
7. Novel Anti-Neutrophilic Effect produced by Salmeterol in mild asthma patients
8. Novel Therapy for Chronic Problem
9. Blood Sugar Kept In Control By Novel Protein
10. Novel antibiotic dressing developed for improved wound healing
11. United Kingdom Is Lagging In Novelty In The Field Of Pharmaceuticals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2017)... , ... March 27, 2017 , ... ... comprehensive weight management program at Women’s Excellence will help patients lose weight and ... physical exam. The specialists at Women's Excellence will measure BMI, body fat ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Janet Schloz is still in shock after receiving a $2,500 Academic Award from ... long time,” she said. , She thinks the coming week is going to be a ... would have to help my students.” , The award will allow the 4th grade teacher ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... ?Grow Healthy Vending ... the pending litigation between itself and 1800 Vending DBA Healthy You Vending. (Civil ... am thrilled to announce that we have now reached a settlement agreement regarding ...
(Date:3/26/2017)... Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... March 26, 2017 ... ... 100 doctors worldwide to receive the RealSelf 100 Award, a prestigious award honoring ... elective cosmetic procedures and to find and connect with doctors and clinics. , ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet today announces distribution of its ... obstacles facing infection prevention and offer strategies for the health care community to ... , The print component of “Fighting Infection” is distributed within the Friday, March ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  PhaseRx, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... life-threatening inherited liver diseases in children, today reported ... year ended December 31, 2016 and provided an ... "PhaseRx continued to make progress during the fourth ... results from our non-human primate safety study, and with ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and ... Manufacturing Market, 2017-2027" report to their offering. ... The Cell Therapy ... rapidly growing market of cell therapy manufacturing and focuses both ... facilities. These therapies are anticipated to emerge as viable alternatives ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017  Zymo Research Corp., ... Hamilton Robotics, Inc., who designs, manufactures and ... collaboration that teams Zymo Research,s DNA methylation ... DNA extraction products with Hamilton,s high-throughput automation ... methods for microbiomics and RNA isolation for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: