" "
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Molecular Twist Helps Regulate the Cellular Message to Make Histone Proteins

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers show for the first time how two key proteins in messenger RNA communicate via a molecular twist to help maintain the balance of histones to DNA.

Histone proteins are the proteins that package DNA into chromosomes.  Everytime the cell replicates its DNA it must make large amounts of newly made histones to organize DNA within the nucleus.

An imbalance in the production of DNA and histones is usually lethal for the cell, which is why the levels of the messenger RNA (mRNA) encoding the histone proteins must be tightly controlled to ensure the proper amounts of histones (not too many and not too few) are made.

In a collaborative effort published online in the January 18, 2013 issue of the journal Science, researchers at the University of North Carolina and Columbia University show for the first time how two key proteins in messenger RNA communicate via a molecular twist to help maintain the balance of histones to DNA.

“This is one of the safeguards that our cells have evolved and it is part of the normal progression through cell division – all growing cells have to use this all of the time,” said study co-author William F. Marzluff, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UNC’s School of Medicine.

Every time a cell divides, Marzluff adds, it has to replicate both DNA and histone proteins and then package them together into chromosomes. “That way, each of the two cells resulting from division has one complete set of genes.”

In humans, the 23 chromosomes that house roughly 35,000 genes are made up of both DNA and histone proteins. The DNA for a histone protein is first transcribed into RNA, which then acts as a guide for building a histone protein. Because the RNA relays a message – in this case a blueprint for a histone protein, it is referred to as messenger RNA, or mRNA.

Histone mRNAs differ from all other mRNAs and end in a stem-loop [or hairpin] sequence that is required for proper regulation of histone mRNAs.  In this study, the Columbia team of Liang Tong, PhD, Professor of biological sciences and the corresponding author on this project, and graduate student Dazhi Tan used crystallography to reveal the structure of two important proteins near the end of the histone mRNA stem-loop. This molecular complex is required for regulating the levels of the histone mRNA.

One of these proteins, stem-loop binding protein (SLBP) is required for translation of histone mRNA into protein, and the other is an exonuclease, which is required to destroy the mRNA. Both were initially identified at UNC by Marzluff and colleague Zbigniew Dominski, PhD, Professor of biochemistry and biophysics, also a study co-author.

“We knew there was some interaction between SLBP and the exonuclease, so we asked Liang to explain how they bind and communicate,” Dominski said. “And the surprising thing was that the proteins do it not by binding to each other but by changing the RNA structure at the site.”

“From the science point of view, that was the most dramatic thing,” Marzluff said. “The way these proteins help each other is either one can twist the RNA so the other can recognize it easier, and they don’t have to touch each other to do that.”

This protein complex is a critical regulator of histone synthesis, and is an important component of cell growth, he adds.  “Interfering with it could provide a new method for interfering with cancer cell growth.”


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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,200+ 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

Potential Brain Cancer Drug Target
UNC Lineberger researchers have reporedt that when they removed Dicer from preclinical models of medulloblastoma, a common type of brain cancer in children, they found high levels of DNA damage in the cancer cells, leading to the cells’ death.
Friday, January 08, 2016
New Path for ALS Drug Discovery
For the first time, scientists pin down the structure of toxic clumps of a protein associated with a large number of ALS cases, opening new avenues in the pursuit of drugs to stem the disease.
Thursday, January 07, 2016
New Way to Force Stem Cells to Become Bone Cells
Potential therapies based on this discovery could help people heal bone injuries or set hardware, such as replacement knees and hips.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Autism Mutation Isolated – Could Be Treated with Specific Enzyme
The research shows the precise cellular mechanisms that could increase risk for the disorder and how an existing drug might help thousands of people with autism.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Researchers Find Two Biomarkers Linked to Severe Heart Disease
Study suggests that elevated oxidized LDL cholesterol and fructosamine – a measure of glycated proteins in blood sugar – are signposts for the development of severe coronary disease, especially in females.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
A Single-Cell Breakthrough
UNC School of Medicine scientist Scott Magness and collaborators use their newly developed technology to dissect properties of single stem cells. The advancement will allow researchers to study gastrointestinal disorders and cancers like never before.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
New Gene Therapy For Hemophilia Shows Potential As Safe Treatment
Research showed that bleeding events were drastically decreased in animals with hemophilia B. Using a viral vector to swap out faulty genes proved safe and could be used for the more common hemophilia A.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Genetically Speaking, Mammals Are More Like Their Fathers
A first of its kind study shows that who we inherit genetic variants from – our mother or father – is crucial for the development of diseases and for research studies aimed at finding causes and potential treatments.
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Key Protein That Allows Plavix To Conquer Platelets Found
The findings could lead to more personalized approaches to controlling platelet activity during heart attacks and other vascular emergencies and diseases.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Researchers Silence Leading Cancer-Causing Gene
A novel siRNA-based molecule successfully targets KRAS, a well-studied but hard to halt protein important for cancer development and metastasis.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Blood Test May Help Determine Psychosis Risk
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers represents an important step forward in the accurate diagnosis of people who are experiencing the earliest stages of psychosis.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
New Gene Therapy Proves Promising as Hemophilia Treatment
Researchers package specialized blood platelets with genes that express clotting factor, leading to fewer bleeding events.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
New Findings Regarding DNA Damage Checkpoint Mechanism in Oxidative Stress
Scientists uncover previously unknown surveillance mechanism.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Medical Diagnostics Company STAT-Diagnostica Secures $22.1 Million in Financing
Proceeds will be used to complete development of the company’s Near Patient Testing diagnostic system and clinical validation of its first products.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Researchers Pinpoint How Trees Play Role in Smog Production
After years of scientific uncertainty and speculation, researchers show exactly how trees help create one of society’s predominant environmental and health concerns: air pollution.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Scientific News
Head Injury Patients have Protein Clumps Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists have revealed that protein clumps associated with Alzheimer's disease are also found in the brains of people who have had a head injury.
Exposure to Air Pollution 30 Years Ago Associated with Increased Risk of Death
Exposure to air pollution more than 30 years ago may still affect an individual's mortality risk today, according to new research from Imperial College London.
More Then 1 in 20 U.S. Children have Dizziness and Balance Problems
Researchers at NIH have found that girls have a higher prevalence of dizziness and balance problems compared to boys, 5.7 percent and 5.0 percent.
Biosensors on Demand
New strategy results in custom "designer proteins" for sensing a variety of molecules.
Low-Cost, Portable NQR Spectroscopy
A researcher at Case Western Reserve University is developing a low-cost, portable prototype designed to detect tainted medicines and food supplements that otherwise can make their way to consumers. The technology can authenticate good medicines and supplements.
Structure of Brain Plaques in Huntington's
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have shown that the core of the protein clumps found in the brains of people with Huntington's disease have a distinctive structure, a finding that could shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the neurodegenerative disorder.
Insights into the Function of the Main Class of Drug Targets
About thirty percent of all medical drugs such as beta-blockers or antidepressants interact with certain types of cell surface proteins called G protein coupled receptors.
Spero Therapeutics Announces $30 Million Series B Preferred Financing
Company has announced financing of $30 million to support development of novel therapies to treat gram-negative bacterial infections.
Unique Mechanism for a High-Risk Leukemia
Researchers uncovered the aberrant mechanism underlying a notoriously treatment-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia subtype; findings offer lessons for understanding all cancers.
Visualizing a Cancer Drug Target at Atomic Resolution
Using cryo-electron microscopy, researchers were able to view, in atomic detail, the binding of a potential small molecule drug to a key protein in cancer cells.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!