Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How To Switch Off Cancer Cell Genes: Epigenetic Silencing Involves Distinct Changes In DNA Structures

Date:
November 14, 2007
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
A new study identifies how genes are silenced in cancer cells through distinct changes in the density of nucleosomes within the cells. The findings will enable researchers to explore new therapies to switch the genes back on and may lead to novel treatments for human cancers.

A new study led by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) identifies how genes are silenced in cancer cells through distinct changes in the density of nucleosomes within the cells.

Related Articles


The findings will enable researchers to explore new therapies to switch the genes back on and may lead to novel treatments for human cancers, says study lead author Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., director of the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Distinguished Professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

"The study shows for the first time exactly how genes get shut down in cancer cells," Jones says. "It identifies what the target looks like so that new therapies can be designed to turn them back on."

The study showed that silencing of transcription start sites in some cancer cells involves distinct changes in nucleosomal occupancy'or the density of nucleosomes'in the cell. Researchers found that three nucleosomes, almost completely absent from the start site in normal cells, are present in the methylated and silenced promoter, suggesting that epigenetic silencing may be accomplished by the stable placement of nucleosomes into previously vacant positions.

DNA cytosine methylation'the addition of a group of specific chemicals to a stretch of DNA that can lock or silence a gene'may ultimately lead to silencing by enabling the stable presence of nucleosomes at the start sites of cancer-related genes, the study suggests.

"We believe these findings will contribute to the development of cancer therapies," Jones says. "We were surprised to find how rigid the inactive structure is, and how rapidly it can be dissolved by drug treatment."

Findings are published in the Nov. 13 issue of the journal Cancer Cell. Joy C. Lin, Shinwu Jeong, Gangning Liang, Daiya Takai, Merhnaz Fatemi, Yvonne C. Tsai, Gerda Egger, Einav Nili Gal-Yam, Peter A. Jones, "Role of Nucleosomal Occupancy in the Epigenetic Silencing of the MLH1 CpG Island," Cancer Cell, Volume 12; Issue 5, November 2007. DOI: 10.1016/

The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "How To Switch Off Cancer Cell Genes: Epigenetic Silencing Involves Distinct Changes In DNA Structures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112133816.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2007, November 14). How To Switch Off Cancer Cell Genes: Epigenetic Silencing Involves Distinct Changes In DNA Structures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112133816.htm
University of Southern California. "How To Switch Off Cancer Cell Genes: Epigenetic Silencing Involves Distinct Changes In DNA Structures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112133816.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. 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