Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Reveals Surprising 'Remodeling' Property Of Gene Regulation Process

Date:
July 30, 2004
Source:
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine
Summary:
Much like moving furniture around to create more space, cells dramatically rearrange their entire genome in order to allow the right genes to be turned on at the right time, new research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows.

CHAPEL HILL -- Much like moving furniture around to create more space, cells dramatically rearrange their entire genome in order to allow the right genes to be turned on at the right time, new research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows.

Related Articles


This extensive chromosomal "remodeling" is accomplished by moving DNA packaging structures called nucleosomes to different spots in the genome. Once a nucleosome is moved from a site, the appropriate gene then can be expressed much more efficiently.

The new findings appear online in the journal Nature Genetics. The study will be published in the August print edition.

The UNC researchers also discovered that when a gene needs to be turned off, the cell recruits the nucleosomes back to a particular location in the genome, thus helping to ensure that expression of the gene is stopped.

Nucleosomes are complexes of proteins that were thought to simply bind to genomic DNA and condense it into structures called chromatin that can fit inside a cell's nucleus. It was historically assumed that nucleosomes were uniformly distributed throughout the genome and that this distribution was unchanging. The new study overturns this assumption, the UNC researchers said.

"Except for at a few genes, it was traditionally thought that there was a monotonic organization of chromatin that did not vary throughout the genome," said senior author Dr. Jason Lieb, assistant professor of biology in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences.

"But chromatin is a dynamic thing - much more dynamic than was once thought."

The study also suggested a new role for the nucleosome as a regulator of gene expression.

"We now know that nucleosomes mark territory," said co-author Dr. Brian Strahl, assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics in UNC's School of Medicine. "This chromosomal remodeling allows the work of gene expression to occur."

The study used the yeast genome as an experimental model to determine if chromosomal remodeling actually occurred. "The yeast genome is very simple compared to the human genome, but yeast are quite responsive to their environment," Lieb said.

By varying the food source given to the yeast, the authors demonstrated that the yeast genes required to process new nutrients lost their nucleosomes and were expressed.

They also showed that nucleosomes return to genes that need to be turned off when yeast are subjected to less than optimal growing conditions.

This chromosomal remodeling discovered in yeast likely is directly translatable to the more complicated mammalian genome, the researchers said.

"The entire machinery required to package DNA and express genes in yeast is very similar to that in humans," Lieb said. "Its application is likely the same in mammalian cells."

The study potentially paves the way for scientists to understand how chromosomal remodeling influences gene expression and regulation in human diseases such as cancer, Strahl said.

"This is such a fundamental observation about the genome, but nobody had ever made it before," he added.

Support for the research came from the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, components of the National Institutes of Health.

Co-authors with Lieb and Strahl are postdoctoral researchers Drs. Cheol-Koo Lee, department of biology; Yoichiro Shibata, biochemistry and biophysics; and Bhargavi Rao, Curriculum in Genetics and Microbiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. "Study Reveals Surprising 'Remodeling' Property Of Gene Regulation Process." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040730090316.htm>.
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. (2004, July 30). Study Reveals Surprising 'Remodeling' Property Of Gene Regulation Process. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040730090316.htm
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. "Study Reveals Surprising 'Remodeling' Property Of Gene Regulation Process." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040730090316.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins