Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Factor in keeping 'good order' of genes discovered

Date:
October 3, 2011
Source:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
A factor that is crucial for the proper positioning of genes in the cell nucleus has now been discovered.

A factor that is crucial for the proper positioning of genes in the cell nucleus has been discovered by a team of researchers from the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland.

Related Articles


The researchers found that the lamin filamentous network is an essential element in this proper positioning, the lack of which can cause specific diseases. Lamin proteins make filaments that are located mainly at the periphery of the cell nucleus, which stores and transcribes genetic material in all living matter. The lamins maintain the nuclear shape and help organize chromosomes.

Mutations in the genes that encode lamin proteins cause 14 different diseases in man, collectively termed laminopathies. These include early aging diseases and diseases that affect peripheral neurons, heart, skin, bones and muscles.

One of the muscle diseases caused by dominant mutations in the gene encoding lamin A is Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (AD-EDMD). It is characterized by weakening in certain skeletal muscles and early contractures at the neck, elbows and Achilles tendons, as well as cardiac conduction defects. How these mutations lead to the disease was largely unknown.

By manipulating the lamin gene in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, Prof. Yosef Gruenbaum of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his students Anna Mattout and Erin Bank, together with Prof. Susan Gasser of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and her students Brietta Pike, Benjamin Towbin, Adriana Gonzalez and Peter Meister were able to show that lamin is necessary for the positioning of regions in the DNA that is mostly inactive (heterochromatin).

They then introduced low levels of a lamin carrying a mutation, which in humans causes AD-EDMD, into the worms and tracked their expression. In the worms expressing the mutant lamin, they detected abnormal retention of a muscle-specific gene array at the nuclear periphery. (The effect of the mutation was specific to muscle and had no effect on other cells.) The animals expressing the mutant lamin had selectively perturbed structure of body muscle and reduced muscle function, which resemble the situation in human patients.

One important conclusion of this study, which appears in the latest online edition of the journal Current Biology, is that lamin filaments help arrange silent genes at the nuclear periphery and -- during normal tissue-specific activation -- allow release of the activated normal gene.

Another conclusion is that a disease-linked local mutation in lamin can impair muscle-specific reorganization of genes during tissue-specific promoter activation in a dominant manner. This dominance and the correlated muscle dysfunction typifies, for example, Emery Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna Mattout, BriettaL. Pike, BenjaminD. Towbin, ErinM. Bank, Adriana Gonzalez-Sandoval, MichaelB. Stadler, Peter Meister, Yosef Gruenbaum, SusanM. Gasser. An EDMD Mutation in C.elegans Lamin Blocks Muscle-Specific Gene Relocation and Compromises Muscle Integrity. Current Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.030

Cite This Page:

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Factor in keeping 'good order' of genes discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003094404.htm>.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2011, October 3). Factor in keeping 'good order' of genes discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003094404.htm
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Factor in keeping 'good order' of genes discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003094404.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. 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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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