Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Liver fibrosis 'off switch' discovered in mice

Chronic alcohol abuse and hepatitis can injure the liver, often leading to a buildup of collagen and scar tissue. Understanding this process, known as liver fibrosis, could help researchers develop new ways to prevent or ...

Oncology & Cancer

Math equation predicts and detects liver cancer

By combining RNA sequencing, bioinformatics and mathematical modeling, University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center researchers identified a sudden transcriptomic switch that turns healthy ...

Cardiology

Developing next-generation biologic pacemakers

University of Houston associate professor of pharmacology Bradley McConnell is helping usher in a new age of cardiac pacemakers by using stem cells found in fat, converting them to heart cells, and reprogramming those to ...

Oncology & Cancer

Milestone reached in new leukemia drug

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists, with chemists and cancer biologists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), have developed a new therapy that extended the survival of mice with acute myeloid leukemia.

Oncology & Cancer

Driver found for more deadly prostate cancer

A transcription factor that aids neuron function also appears to enable a cell conversion in the prostate gland that can make an already recurrent cancer even more deadly, scientists say.

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Transcription factor

In the field of molecular biology, a transcription factor (sometimes called a sequence-specific DNA binding factor) is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences and thereby controls the transfer (or transcription) of genetic information from DNA to mRNA. Transcription factors perform this function alone or with other proteins in a complex, by promoting (as an activator), or blocking (as a repressor) the recruitment of RNA polymerase (the enzyme which performs the transcription of genetic information from DNA to RNA) to specific genes.

A defining feature of transcription factors is that they contain one or more DNA binding domains (DBDs) which attach to specific sequences of DNA adjacent to the genes that they regulate. Additional proteins such as coactivators, chromatin remodelers, histone acetylases, deacetylases, kinases, and methylases, while also playing crucial roles in gene regulation, lack DNA binding domains, and therefore are not classified as transcription factors.

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