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
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ 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
Microscopic Fish are 3D-Printed to do More Than Swim
Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities.
Inciting an Immune Attack on Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
Reprogramming Cancer Cells
Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy.
New Strategy for Combating Adenoviruses
Using an animal model they developed, Saint Louis University and Utah State university researchers have identified a strategy that could keep a common group of viruses called adenoviruses from replicating and causing sickness in humans.
Surprising Mechanism Behind Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Now, scientists at TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.
Fat in the Family?
Study could lead to therapeutics that boost metabolism.
Imaging Software Could Speed Up Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Researchers use high speed optical microscopy of intact breast tissue specimens to analyze breast tissue.
A Metabolic Master Switch Underlying Human Obesity
Researchers find pathway that controls metabolism by prompting fat cells to store or burn fat.
Synthetic DNA Vaccine Against MERS Shows Promise
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine can, for the first time, induce protective immunity against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in animal species.
How Small RNA Helps Form Memories
In a new study, a team of scientists at Scripps Florida has found that a type of genetic material called "microRNA" (miRNA) plays surprisingly different roles in the formation of memory in animal models.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!