Non-coding RNA relocates genes when it's time to go to work
Cells develop and thrive by turning genes on and off as needed in a precise pattern, a process known as regulated gene transcription. In a paper published in the Nov. 9 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say this process is even more complex than previously thought, with regulated genes actually relocated to other, more conducive places in the cell nucleus.
"When regulated gene transcription goes awry, many human diseases result, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer and growth defects in children," said Michael G. Rosenfeld, MD, a professor in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and senior author of the study. "We've shown that rather than being activated at certain, random locations within the cell nucleus, regulated genes can dynamically relocate. The discovery provides a more comprehensive picture of the interaction between regulated genes and human disease."
Specifically, Rosenfeld and colleagues found that genes regulating cell proliferation responded to growth signals by moving targeted genes from a "silencing environment" in the nucleus called Polycomb bodies to another nuclear compartment called interchromatin granules, which is enriched with activating transcription factors. The movement was precisely guided by two non-coding RNA (ncRNA) molecules called TUG1 and NEAT2.
NcRNA are molecules that are not translated into proteins. In recent years, researchers have ascribed a growing list of duties to them. In this case, Rosenfeld said, TUG1 and NEAT2 move genes to a location in the cell nucleus where they can be more effectively activated and accomplish their function. Cells contain many ncRNAs and it's likely that others play roles similar to TUG1 and NEAT2 in association with various human diseases.
"A big finding here is the uncovering of a general ncRNA-dependent sensor strategy that relocates a large subset of regulated transcription unit cohorts," said Liquing Yang, a postdoctoral member of the Rosenfeld lab and co-first author of the study. "Our data suggests that ncRNAs act as regulators and perhaps as modifiers of 'readers' and 'writers' of the histone code, which implies they have a critical 'switching' role in gene transcription regulation."
"The ability to have signal-dependent relocation of genes in the subnuclear architecture has intriguing implications both in normal regulation and in cancer," added the other co-first author, Chunru Lin.
The deeper, more detailed understanding of ncRNAs and proteins active in controlling gene relocation may reveal new targets for future chemical compounds or inhibitors against diseases that involve mis-regulated gene expression.
"The global roles of ncRNAs and regulated dynamic alterations in nuclear architecture that we have identified connect regulated gene activation programs to other cellular processes, including DNA damage/repair, proliferation, and inflammation," said Rosenfeld. "This discovery will hopefully provide the backdrop for new approaches to several diseases, including prevalent forms of cancer, neurodegeneration, growth defects and diabetes."
Journal reference: Journal of Neuroscience
Provided by University of California - San Diego
- Researchers discover new class of objects encoded within the genome Oct 06, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Putting microRNAs on the stem cell map Aug 07, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Nuclear pore complexes harbor new class of gene regulators Feb 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Dundee researchers make gene breakthrough Sep 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Research sheds light on the mechanics of gene transcription Jan 08, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
1 hour ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
Neuroscience 16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
Neuroscience 19 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (14) | 0 |
You're standing near an airport luggage carousel and your bag emerges on the conveyor belt, prompting you to spring into action. How does your brain make the shift from passively waiting to taking action when ...
Neuroscience 20 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
Neuroscience 22 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
In a remote fishing community in Venezuela, a lone fisherman sits on a cliff overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea. This man –– the lookout –– is responsible for directing his comrades on the water, ...
Neuroscience 23 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A report published today shows a 2.6% decrease in the amount of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland in the year following the introduction of the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act in October 2011.
33 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—High blood pressure is something that has traditionally been a problem in Scotland, but might there be a link to our climate?
23 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy.
13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The University of Gothenburg Vaccine Research Institute (GUVAX) announces successful results in a placebo controlled phase I study of an oral, inactivated Escherichia coli diarrhea vaccine.
53 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Preschoolers universally recognize that one's choices are not always free – that our decisions may be constrained by social obligations to be nice to others or follow rules set by parents ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0