Human skin cells reprogrammed directly into brain cells

Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntington's disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques that turn one ...

Medical research

Uncovering secrets of bone marrow cells and how they differentiate

Bone marrow contains biological factories, which pump out billions of new blood cells daily. The non-blood cells that maintain this production also have the potential to produce bone, fat and cartilage. This output all starts ...

Oncology & Cancer

Unlocking therapies for hard-to-treat lung cancers

Now, a new Salk Institute study, published on July 24, 2019, in the journal Science Advances, shows that researchers could target these hard-to-treat cancers by pursuing drugs that keep a cellular "switch," called CREB, from ...

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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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