Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nitric oxide can regulate gene expression

Date:
August 24, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new role for nitric oxide, a gas molecule crucial for cellular signaling and health. Researchers found that nitric oxide plays an important role in epigenetics -- heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence.

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy have discovered a new role for nitric oxide, a gas molecule crucial for cellular signaling and health.

Related Articles


Douglas Thomas, associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at UIC, and co-workers discovered that nitric oxide plays an important role in epigenetics -- heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence.

One such example, Thomas said, are modifications of specialized proteins called histones, which are responsible for packaging DNA in the cell nucleus and influencing how genes are regulated.

Genes wound very tightly around their histones are not expressed as strongly as genes that are more loosely wrapped. The latter are more easily accessible to the cellular machinery that translates genes into their protein products.

"Small alterations on these histones act as a molecular switch to turn certain genes on and others off," Thomas said. "It's no surprise then that abnormal histone modifications have been associated with a tremendous variety of diseases."

Attaching chemical bits called methyl groups at certain histone sites can shut down genes that are vital for suppressing tumor formation, or activate genes that cause cancer, Thomas said. In addition, alterations in the expression of enzymes that change the methylation of histones have been linked to disease and poor survival in a variety of conditions.

In a new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Thomas and his colleagues focused on the protein KDM3A, which removes methyl groups from histones. The group discovered that nitric oxide could inhibit the ability of the protein to remove histone methyl groups.

"We also found that nitric oxide can differentially regulate the expression of a variety of histone methyl-modifying enzymes, many of which have strong associations with specific cancers," Thomas said.

This is the first study to demonstrate an epigenetic model of nitric oxide signaling that has the potential to "change our fundamental understanding of both nitric oxide biology and epigenetic regulation," Thomas said.

"This could significantly alter our understanding of gene expression in health and disease."

Co-authors on the report are Jason Hickok, a visiting research assistant professor at UIC, and graduate student Divya Vasudevan. The work was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01GM085232.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. The original article was written by Sam Hostettler. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jason R. Hickok, Divya Vasudevan, William E. Antholine, Douglas D. Thomas. Role of Nitric Oxide in Regulating Histone Methylation: Nitric Oxide Modifies Global Histone Methylation by Inhibiting Jumonji C Domain-containing Demethylases. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2013; 288: 16016 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.P112.432294

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Nitric oxide can regulate gene expression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130824131400.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2013, August 24). Nitric oxide can regulate gene expression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130824131400.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Nitric oxide can regulate gene expression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130824131400.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 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
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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