Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling gene expression with hydrogen peroxide 'switches'

Date:
August 1, 2012
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Hydrogen peroxide doesn't just come in bottles from the drugstore – the human body makes it as well. Now researchers have found a way to use naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide inside cells to switch on gene expression.

Hydrogen peroxide doesn't just come in bottles from the drugstore -- the human body makes it as well. Now researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way to use naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide inside cells to switch on gene expression. Their method also serves as a highly sensitive hydrogen peroxide detector, which may help scientists determine the molecule's role in cellular health and disease.

In a normally functioning cell, hydrogen peroxide serves as a messenger, carrying signals through a cell in order to allow the cell to respond to external stimuli or events. Once the message is transmitted, the hydrogen peroxide diffuses and disappears.

"It's an ideal messenger compound, because it's small, fast, and doesn't linger," says chemist Alex Deiters. "It works by oxidizing, or modifying, certain amino acids in proteins, which affects the protein's function."

Deiters and graduate students Jeane Govan, Andrew McIver and Chad Riggsbee wanted to see if they could harness hydrogen peroxide's oxidizing property as a way to control gene expression, using the gene that gives fireflies their "glow," or luminescence, as a test case. They designed a molecule that was sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and enabled expression of the firefly luciferase gene in live mammalian cells. When hydrogen peroxide was present, the luciferase gene was expressed, causing the cell to glow.

The researchers' results appear online in Angewandte Chemie.

"The exciting aspects of this synthetic gene switch are that you can use it not only as a way to detect the presence of hydrogen peroxide within cells, in this case, by making cells containing hydrogen peroxide glow, but also to express any gene of interest in response to the presence of hydrogen peroxide," Deiters says. "In terms of detecting hydrogen peroxide, the system is at least an order of magnitude more sensitive than anything used previously."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeane M. Govan, Andrew L. McIver, Chad Riggsbee, Alexander Deiters. Hydrogen Peroxide Induced Activation of Gene Expression in Mammalian Cells using Boronate Estrone Derivatives. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201203222

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Controlling gene expression with hydrogen peroxide 'switches'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120801113536.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2012, August 1). Controlling gene expression with hydrogen peroxide 'switches'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120801113536.htm
North Carolina State University. "Controlling gene expression with hydrogen peroxide 'switches'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120801113536.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
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
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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