Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel regulatory protein complex explains another protein's double life

Date:
June 25, 2010
Source:
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers have identified a novel regulatory protein complex in Drosophila that explains another protein's double life, and which likely plays an important role in mammals, too.

These microscopy images show that a protein from the NSL complex (green) and MOF (red) both bind to all chromosomes in male (right) and female (left) fruit flies - overlap is shown in purple. On the male X chromosome, MOF binds not only to promoter regions but also to the body of the genes, generating a brighter signal (pink).
Credit: Image credits: Akhtar/EMBL.

Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology Freiburg have identified a novel protein complex that regulates around 4000 genes in the fruit fly Drosophila and likely plays an important role in mammals, too.

Published June 25 in Molecular Cell, their findings explain how another regulatory protein can lead a double life.

"This new complex seems to be one of the major regulatory complexes both in Drosophila and in mammals," says Asifa Akhtar, former EMBL group leader and now at the Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg, Germany, who led the study: "Without it, flies die early in embryonic development."

The absence of the newly found complex causes early embryonic death of both males and females, so Akhtar and colleagues named it Non-Specific Lethal (NSL), in contrast to a previously known complex called Male-Specific Lethal (MSL). The MSL complex enables males to double the expression of the genes in their single X chromosome - a process called dosage compensation - by binding to the body of those genes together with a protein called MOF. Thus, male flies are able to compensate for the fact that they have only one X chromosome, while females have two. But MOF leads a double life: it also binds to the promoter regions of genes on all chromosomes, in both sexes.

Akhtar and colleagues discovered that the NSL complex decorates all chromosomes in both sexes. They also observed that the NSL complex helps MOF to bind to promoters and thereby plays an important role in determining the life MOF will lead. If it partners up with NSL, MOF turns on genes in all chromosomes. If it interacts with MSL instead, it binds to genes on the males' X chromosome, playing its role in dosage compensation. Interestingly, NSL indirectly drives this aspect of MOF function too, by acting together with MOF to turn on the genes whose output will then be increased by dosage compensation.

"These proteins have been conserved throughout evolution - they exist not only in fruit flies but in mammals too, meaning that everything we have discovered in flies has implications for humans and other mammals, which we'd like to investigate next," Akhtar concludes. Since MOF is frequently down-regulated in cancers, comparing how the NSL complex behaves in healthy tissues and in tumours is especially relevant.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sunil Jayaramaiah Raja, Iryna Charapitsa, Thomas Conrad, Juan M. Vaquerizas, Philipp Gebhardt, Herbert Holz, Jan Kadlec, Sven Fraterman, Nicholas M. Luscombe, Asifa Akhtar. The Nonspecific Lethal Complex Is a Transcriptional Regulator in Drosophila. Molecular Cell, 2010; 38 (6): 827 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2010.05.021

Cite This Page:

European Molecular Biology Laboratory. "Novel regulatory protein complex explains another protein's double life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100625101500.htm>.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory. (2010, June 25). Novel regulatory protein complex explains another protein's double life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100625101500.htm
European Molecular Biology Laboratory. "Novel regulatory protein complex explains another protein's double life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100625101500.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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