Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

3D Genomics Offers Key to Disease

Published: Thursday, May 01, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, May 01, 2014
Bookmark and Share
First study to address the value of three-dimensional genome organization in the classification of leukemia.

To solve a puzzle, you need to recognize shapes, patterns and a particular kind of order.  In much the same way, researchers at McGill University have discovered that the 3D shape of a leukemia cell’s genome holds a key to solving the puzzle of human diseases. The researchers report their findings in the open access journal Genome Biology.

McGill professor Josée Dostie, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine in the department of Biochemistry, focused on the shape made by the region spanning the Homeobox A (HOXA) genes in human cells -- a set of 11 genes encoding proteins that are highly relevant to numerous types of cancers. Dostie and colleagues discovered that the shape of this region of the genome was excellent at indicating the subtype of leukemia it comes from. These initial results suggest that 3D genomics might be a way of improving personalised treatment, though application in the clinic is a long way off.

“I have been interested in understanding the role of genome folding with regards to human health and disease,” says Dostie, who is also a researcher at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre. “My approach uses technologies that detect which piece of DNA is close to which one, such that we can reconstruct how the genome is folded in three dimensions by piecing this information together as if it were a puzzle”.

Dostie and the all-McGill team study the organization of entire genomes and of specific regions relevant to human diseases. The HOXA gene cluster is one of these regions that become improperly regulated in many types of cancers.

“Previous studies have shown that looking at gene expression -- the specific proteins produced by the genes -- is a good predictor of whether patients have leukemia”, says Prof. Mathieu Blanchette, a co-author on the study and an assistant professor at McGill in the School of Computer Science. “We found that different types of leukemia cells also have a distinctive chromatin interaction – how the chromatin that makes up the genome is folded.”

It is not clear at the moment whether the genome shape plays a role in causing the cancer, or whether the cancer causes the genome to change shape. Further studies are needed to determine whether genome shape is as good at indicating other types of cancer.

“Our study validates a new research avenue: the application of 3D genomics for developing medical diagnostics or treatments that could be explored for diseases where current technologies, including gene expression data, have failed to improve patient care,” says Dostie, “While the use of 3D genomics in the clinic is still remote when considering the technical challenges required for translating the information to the bedside, we discovered a new approach for classifying human disease that must be explored further, if only for what it can reveal about how the human genome works.”

The article, Classifying leukemia types with chromatin conformation data, is available to access online in Genome Biology. 


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Light Shed On Genetic Architecture Of Kidney Cancer
Research reveals link between renal cell carcinoma and exposure to aristolochic acid.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Newly Discovered Effects of Vitamin D on Cancer
Vitamin D slows the progression of cells from premalignant to malignant states, keeping their proliferation in check.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Scientific News
Cancer Genetics: Key to Diagnosis, Therapy
When applied judiciously, cancer genetics directs caregivers to the right drug at the right time, while sparing patients of unnecessary or harmful treatments.
Study Reveals New Role for Hippo Pathway in Suppressing Cancer Immunity
Hippo pathway signaling regulates organ size by moderating cell growth, apoptosis and stem cell renewal, but dysregulation contributes to cancer development.
New Mechanism to Control Human Viral Infections Discovered
Researchers discover long sought after mechanism in human cells that could help treat diseases caused by viruses.
Gene Therapy Maintains Clotting Factor for Hemophilia Patients
Following a single gene therapy dose, the highest levels of an essential blood clotting factor IX were observed in hemophilia B patients.
RNAi Activated in Response to Influenza
Discovery could lead to better ways of combating serious infections, including Ebola and Zika.
Transporting Microscopic Cargo Between Human Cells
Scientists have developed a virus-inspired delivery system for material transport between cells.
Improving Drug Production with Computer Model
A model has been developed that can be used to improve and accelerate the production of biotherapeutics, cancer drugs, and vaccines.
Turning Off Asthma Attacks
Researchers discover a critical cellular “off” switch for the inflammatory immune response that causes asthma attacks.
New Strategy May Drop Cancer’s Guard
Scientists eye ways to deconstruct tumors’ protective wall with current diabetes drug.
Scientists Identify Unique Genomic Features in Testicular Cancer
The findings may shed light on factors in other cancers that influence their sensitivity to chemotherapy.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!