Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA Replication: Messenger RNA With FLASH A Key Player

Date:
October 25, 2009
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
A new study has identified a key player in a molecular process essential for DNA replication within cells.

A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified a key player in a molecular process essential for DNA replication within cells.

The new findings highlight a protein called FLASH, already shown to play a role in initiating apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Apoptosis is a normal biochemical response that occurs when a cell is damaged beyond repair after viral infection or accumulation of mutations that could lead to uncontrolled cellular proliferation, or cancer. Apoptosis is also crucial to the developing embryo through selective cell death, which allows proper differentiation of physical structures, such as fingers and toes.

According to senior study author Zbigniew Dominski, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UNC, the new study demonstrates that FLASH is also required for the proper synthesis of histone messenger RNA, which gives rise to histone proteins.

Histones are the chief protein components of chromatin and act as a scaffold allowing packaging of DNA into a condensed form that fits inside the nucleus of a cell. As the DNA interacts with histones and with metabolic signals from within the cell, these proteins help regulate gene expression.

"Our study suggests for the first time that a potential link exists between the processes of histone messenger RNA formation and apoptosis," Dominski said. "FLASH is crucial for the production of histone messenger RNA, without which the cell can't make the histone proteins around which DNA is packaged."

The research is described in the October 23rd issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

For the study, Dominski adapted a laboratory system that reproduces in the test tube what normally occurs in the cell when FLASH participates in the biochemical cleavage event that results in mature histone messenger RNA. This enabled his team to explore what might occur when FLASH was added or removed.

"We could then figure out exactly what portion of FLASH would restore the protein's function in generating histone mRNAs and remarkably, only the first 100 or so amino acids are required. The remaining 2,000 amino acids of this large protein likely control other processes in the cell, including apoptosis and DNA replication" he explained.

Co-author William F. Marzluff, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of biochemistry & biophysics and executive associate dean for basic research. He noted that FLASH is the first component found in this protein complex "that integrates or initiates many cellular functions -- DNA replication, apoptosis, histone production. Having this small piece of the puzzle makes it a lot easier to identify others."

Other UNC coauthors include Xiao-cui Yang, laboratory technician, and Yan Yan, undergraduate student, both of the dept of biochemistry & biophysics and the UNC Program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and Brandon D. Burch, graduate student in the Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Funding for the study came from the National Institute of General and Medical Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health.


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. "DNA Replication: Messenger RNA With FLASH A Key Player." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022122327.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2009, October 25). DNA Replication: Messenger RNA With FLASH A Key Player. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022122327.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "DNA Replication: Messenger RNA With FLASH A Key Player." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022122327.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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