A more nuanced genetic code: Rules governing expression of developmental genes in embryonic stem cells

A more nuanced genetic code: Rules governing expression of developmental genes in embryonic stem cells

A decade ago, gene expression seemed so straightforward: genes were either switched on or off. Not both. Then in 2006, a blockbuster finding reported that developmentally regulated genes in mouse embryonic stem cells can have marks associated with both active and repressed genes, and that such genes, which were referred to as “bivalently marked genes”, can be committed to one way or another during development and differentiation.

via ScienceDaily: Top Health News:

Aug. 11, 2013 — A decade ago, gene expression seemed so straightforward: genes were either switched on or off. Not both. Then in 2006, a blockbuster finding reported that developmentally regulated genes in mouse embryonic stem cells can have marks associated with both active and repressed genes, and that such genes, which were referred to as “bivalently marked genes,” can be committed to one way or another during development and differentiation.This paradoxical state — akin to figuring out how to navigate a red and green traffic signal — has since undergone scrutiny by labs worldwide. What has been postulated is that the control regions (or promoters) of some genes, particularly those critical for development during the undifferentiated state, stay “poised” for plasticity by communicating with both activating and repressive histones, a state biologists term “bivalency.”A study by researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research now revisits that notion. In this week’s advance online edition of the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, a team led by Investigator Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D., identifies the protein complex that implements the activating histone mark specifically at “poised” genes in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, but reports that its loss has little effect on developmental gene activation during differentiation. This suggests that there is more to learn about interpreting histone modification patterns in embryonic and even cancer cells.”There has been a lot of excitement over the idea that promoters of developmentally regulated genes exhibit both the stop and go signals,” explains Shilatifard. “That work supports the idea that histone modifications could constitute a code that regulates gene expression. However, we have argued that the code is not absolute and is context dependent.”Shilatifard has a historic interest in gene regulation governing development and cancer. In 2001, his laboratory was the first to characterize a complex of yeast proteins called COMPASS, which enzymatically methylates histones in a way that favors gene expression. …

For more info: A more nuanced genetic code: Rules governing expression of developmental genes in embryonic stem cells

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

A more nuanced genetic code: Rules governing expression of developmental genes in embryonic stem cells

Utilizzando il sito, accetti l'utilizzo dei cookie da parte nostra. maggiori informazioni

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close