Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding inflammatory responses: A small cut with a big impact

Date:
May 2, 2012
Source:
University of Zurich
Summary:
During inflammation, controlled gene expression is necessary in order to allow the organism to mount an effective defense response. For this process, the protein ARTD1 is removed from the DNA. Veterinary biochemists and molecular biologists have now elucidated this previously unclear mechanism: ARTD1 is cut into two pieces by molecular scissors, which enhances gene expression. The results are groundbreaking for our understanding of inflammatory responses and the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs.

During inflammation, controlled gene expression is necessary in order to allow the organism to mount an effective defense response. For this process, the protein ARTD1 is removed from the DNA. Veterinary biochemists and molecular biologists from the University of Zurich have now elucidated this previously unclear mechanism: ARTD1 is cut into two pieces by molecular scissors, which enhances gene expression. The results are groundbreaking for our understanding of inflammatory responses and the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs.

Diseases and injuries trigger warning signals in our cells. As a result, genes are expressed and proteins produced, modified or degraded to adapt to the external danger and to protect the organism. In order to be able to produce a particular protein, the corresponding DNA segment, the gene, needs to be expressed and translated. The DNA is localized in the cell nucleus, and exists as a long string that is coiled and bound by proteins. ARTD1 is one such protein, and therefore has the potential to regulate the expression level of genes through its interaction with DNA.

If cells detect warning signals or foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses in their surroundings, the expression profile of genes changes and an inflammatory response is triggered. To induce changes in gene expression, ARTD1 is removed from particular sites of the DNA. The process by which this is brought about has, until now, remained elusive. The team headed by Professor Michael O. Hottiger from the Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Zurich has now discovered how ARTD1's DNA recruitment is regulated during inflammation, thereby influencing gene expression and subsequently inflammation.

Molecular scissors

As the researchers demonstrate in Molecular Cell, ARTD1 is cut into two pieces by molecular scissors, the protein caspase 7. Upon cleavage, these pieces can no longer bind to the DNA, thus allowing for more efficient gene expression.

The cleavage of proteins by caspase 7 was so far mainly associated with cell death. "The cleavage of ARTD1 by caspase 7 during inflammation constitutes a new biological function. It permits a new understanding of inflammatory responses and, in the longer term, may lead to the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs," explains Professor Hottiger. The results are of considerable importance because inflammation underlies most diseases, including cancer, immune disorders or metabolic syndrome.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Süheda Erener, Virginie Pétrilli, Ingrid Kassner, Roberta Minotti, Rosa Castillo, Raffaella Santoro, Paul O. Hassa, Jürg Tschopp, Michael O. Hottiger. Inflammasome-Activated Caspase 7 Cleaves PARP1 to Enhance the Expression of a Subset of NF-κB Target Genes. Molecular Cell, 2012; 46 (2): 200 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.02.016

Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. "Understanding inflammatory responses: A small cut with a big impact." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502091824.htm>.
University of Zurich. (2012, May 2). Understanding inflammatory responses: A small cut with a big impact. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502091824.htm
University of Zurich. "Understanding inflammatory responses: A small cut with a big impact." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502091824.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. 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:
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